Senador Ron Calderón es Acusado de Aceptar Sobornos

November 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

La redada en las oficinas del Senador Ron Calderón durante este verano por  parte de La Agencia Federal de Investigaciones (FBI) pudo haber sido la punta del iceberg de un escándalo en desarrollo. La imagen completa de la situación –que incluye a otros oficiales electos—presenta mas a revelaciones la luz. Ahora una asambleísta que representa algunas de las mismas comunidades que Calderón en el Sureste del Condado de Los Ángeles, y otras más, esta pidiendo su renuncia inmediata.

Calderón, el menor de tres hermanos los cuales han tenido puestos en el gobierno en algún momento, es acusado de aceptar sobornos e influenciar una legislación para beneficiar a aquellos que le pagaban a él y a su familia, de acuerdo a una declaración abierta por parte del FBI que obtuvo el canal de noticias en Estados Unidos, Al Jazeera América,

El reportaje investigativo de Al Jazeera América fue transmitido el 30 de octubre lanzando una serie de sospechas sobre el senador y su familia. En el momento de la publicación, el Sen. Calderón aun no había sido culpado de ningún crimen.

El documento de 124 paginas del FBI fue usado en corte para obtener una orden de allanamiento para la redada en junio, de acuerdo al reportaje y estaba supuestamente relacionada con una investigación de agencias locales de agua y un contrato lucrativo que parecía beneficiar a su hermano, el ex asambleísta Tom Calderón e implicaba al orador de la asamblea, John Pérez.

El documento implica al Sen. Calderón recibiendo sobornos y regalos—para él y sus familiares—por parte de un agente del FBI quien fingía ser un ejecutivo de Hollywood, y de un ejecutivo de un hospital el cual aparentemente cobraba extra al Fondo del Estado de Compensación de Pólizas.

La asambleísta Cristina García reaccionó el lunes ante la noticia y malos reportes pidiendo al Sen. Calderón que renuncie a su cargo.

“Con el documento del FBI y los reportajes que han suscitado un torbellino legal alrededor del Senador Ron Calderón, es mi deber hablar. Con sentimientos encontrados, pero con convicción clara le pidío hoy al Senador Calderón que ceda su puesto en su oficina para que permita que la nube negra que lo persigue sea removida del Capitolio y del estado de California”, dijo García en su comunicado.

García continua, diciendo que la inocencia de Calderón está en debate, pero que la controversia esta causando una distracción que debilita la relación entre el gobierno y los residentes que son representados por Calderón.

A la petición de renuncia esta semana se unieron el periódico Los Ángeles Daily News, el blog político City Watch LA entre otros, diciendo que las acusaciones de soborno debilitan la democracia.  Calderón todavía tiene que ser acusado de infringir la ley.

El Sen. Líder del Estado, Darrell Steinberg también ha removido al Sen. Calderón de la Comisión de Películas en California después del reportaje de Al Jazeera América.

El documento describe como Calderón ayudaba al dueño de un hospital en Long Beach, especializado en cirugía de la columna para recibir grandes pagos de compensación al trabajador a cambio de ayuda monetaria para su hermano, Tom Calderón. El Sen. Calderón encubría los pagos de soborno mediante su hermano Tom, y su hijo Zachary y en retorno peleó en la legislatura para asegurarse que las leyes no afectaran el negocio de cirugía de columna, de acuerdo al reportaje.

Al mismo tiempo, el agente encubierto del FBI en la operación de estafa actuaba como un ejecutivo de un estudio de películas y le pedía a Calderón que usara sus influencias para ayudarlo a obtener pautas en sus impuestos y a cambio Calderón aceptaba sobornos. Los hijos de Calderón, Zachery y Jessica también fueron añadidos al documento para recibir dinero mediante el trato que Calderón hizo con el hombre que posaba como ejecutivo de Hollywood.

También, la organización no lucrativa Californianos por la Diversidad relacionados con el Caucus Latino de California encabezado por Tom Calderón era usado por los hermanos para su “fondo de usos ilícitos”, de acuerdo al reportaje.

Un “concejal de Los Ángeles” anónimo también ha causado especulaciones por parte de los residentes y oficiales según el documento, pues se preguntan cuando será revelada su identidad y como el/ella jugaba una parte importante en los delitos presentados.

Mario Beltrán, consultante del Sen. Calderón le dijo a EGP que la oficina no está disponible para comentarios. Sin embargo, Mark Geragos, abogado del Sen. Calderón le dijo a Los Ángeles Times, “Creo que [todo] es fabricado y falso” y agregó que el  único que ha violado la ley es quien infiltró el documento sellado y la organización que lo publicó.

Calderón, quien reside en Montebello, representa varias ciudades del Sureste del Condado de Los Ángeles, incluyendo Bell Gardens, Montebello, Pico Rivera y otras áreas predominantemente latinas.

The Story of the Movimiento, an exhibit at the East LA Library Chicano Resource Center

November 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Courtesy of Rosalio Munoz

Courtesy of Rosalio Munoz

Ongoing: The Story of the Movimiento, an exhibit at the East LA Library Chicano Resource Center. Classic Chicana/Chicano history photographs, cartoons, newspaper pages & art tell the stories of key  “movimiento” events: the 1968 East Los Angeles high school walkouts, August 29, 1970 National Chicano Moratorium, and the emergence of the Immigrant Rights movement 1968-1972. On exhibit through end of Nov. Library is located in the East LA Civic Center, 4837 E. 3rd St. LA 90022. Center is open to the public Monday, Wednesday from 1-8pm, & Friday-Sunday 1-4pm. For more  information, call (323) 261-4155. Pictured: Student views exhibit on 1968 Chicano Walkout leader and teacher Sal Castro; Section on Sal Castro, visitor discuss section on the walkouts.

November 7, 2013 Issue

November 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

131107-FRONTPages-2

Challengers Oust Incumbents in Bell Gardens, MUSD

November 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Unofficial results for the November 5 election in the cities of Bell Gardens and Montebello and the Montebello Unified School District were less about who was elected and more about who was not reelected after three incumbents lost their seats to new challengers.

The most significant change was seen in the MUSD school board where, according to unofficial election results, challengers Lani Cupchoy and Edgar Cisneros garnered enough votes to remove longtime board member Gerri Guzman and two-year appointee Paul Montoya.

As of Wednesday morning, Cupchoy, who was very involved in the effort that opened student gardens at several MUSD schools, was leading Guzman by 51 votes. Guzman is a former Montebello treasurer and currently works as an aid to Assemblywoman Christina Garcia. Cisneros, an aid to Supervisor Gloria Molina, was ahead of Montoya, a technology engineer, by more than 400 votes. There is still a large number of Vote by Mail and provisional ballots to be counted, according to the County Registrar-Recorder.

Mailed hit pieces near the end of the election were tough to overcome, veteran board member Guzman told EGP Wednesday. She was particularly incensed about a piece that included her mug shot taken during a 2012 arrest for domestic violence incident, which resulted in no charges against her and where she claims she was actually the victim.

The result was unfortunate, she said. “I refused to swing back the mud and do a hit piece, that’s not what I do she said.”

Cupchoy and Cisneros, that’s their kind of politics, she said, adding she has no plans as of now to ask for a recount. Both Cupchoy and Cisneros had the endorsement of the Montebello teachers union.

EGP’s calls to Cupchoy for comment were not returned.

In the first election, Chacon received the highest number of votes, 3,585 (23.24%) votes while Cardenas received 3,486 (22.6%) votes, enough to get them elected. The third seat up for grabs was a close call, Community Educator/Historian Lani Cupchoy received 2,999 (19.44%) votes, just 51 votes more than longtime, outspoken board member Gerri Guzman who received 2,948 (19.11%) votes. Challengers Frank T. Morales and Sonia Saucillo-Valencia received 1,046 (6.78%) and 1,361 (8.82%) votes respectively.

In the second election challenger Edgar Cisneros, a deputy aid to County Supervisor Gloria Molina, was elected with 2,957 (46.47%) votes, receiving enough votes to win against Montoya who received only 2,548 (40.04%) votes. Challenger C.J. Salgado received 858 (13.48%) votes.

Benjamin Cardenas, who was up for election for the first time and earned the second highest number of votes behind Chacon, told EGP he is anxious to see where his votes came from, noting that he did not take any area for granted and worked hard to make sure he knocked on door across the district. He said he did not see the negative campaign pieces, and concentrated his energies on running a clean campaign that focused on his strengths and what he has to offer the district.

Like him, Cardenas says the new board members will face a learning curve, but he is looking forward to see what new dynamic projects they will bring to the district. He says he will continue to focus on bringing resources to the district and efforts to repurpose the Laguna Nueva campus for an innovative student-learning environment.

 

Bell Gardens City Council  

According to the unofficial results, Bell Gardens residents reelected Mayor Daniel Crespo who received 944 (24.24%) votes and Mayor Pro Tem Priscilla Flores who won with 886 (22.75%) votes. The two ran on a slate with Jose Mendoza, a teacher and former planning commissioner, who received 870 (22.34%) votes, ousting Sergio Infanzon, who received only 597 (15.33%) votes. Of the three incumbents, Infanzon was on the council for the shortest amount of time. Challengers Jazmina Saavedra and Yvette Silva received 345 (8.86%) and 253 (6.5%) respectively.

 

Montebello City Council

While the two incumbents seeking reelection both won a seat on the city council, it was a first time candidate who received the highest number of votes in Tuesday’s election. Newcomer Vivian Romero, a music producer and city commissioner received the most votes, 1,819 (20.91%).

Councilman Art Barajas came in second with 1,731 (19.9%) votes, followed by Mayor Pro Tem William Molinari, who has been on the council the longest, who came in third with 1,455 (16.72%) votes. Challenger Flavio Gallarzo was a close fourth with 1,223 (14.06%) of the votes.

 

Alcaldesa de Montebello Dice que No Renunciará

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Durante una junta reciente del concejo municipal de Montebello, la alcaldesa Cristina Cortez respondió a reclamos que pedían que renunciara a su cargo después del arresto de su esposo bajo sospecha de posesión y venta de drogas.

Cortez, supuesta a reelección en el 2015, no respondió directamente a los residentes del área quienes pidieron su renuncia durante el segmento de comentarios públicos, pero si se dirigió a todos en general.

“Por favor entiendan que yo ejerzo como la alcaldesa y nunca he mentido, engañado, robado ni hecho nada malo en contra de la ciudad”, dijo Cortez. “Seguiré haciendo mi trabajo en la mejor de mis habilidades”.

El esposo de Cortez, Rubén Guerrero de 44 años de edad, fue arrestado el 17 de octubre en la casa de ambos, localizada en la cuadra 1500 de Los Angeles Ave. en Montebello, de acuerdo con oficiales del alguacil del condado de Los Ángeles. Guerrero fue liberado después de pagar una fianza de $60.000 ese mismo día.

El pasado 31 de octubre la oficina de abogados del distrito de Los Ángeles presentó un total de seis cargos en contra de Rubén Guerrero. Estos incluyen tres cargos de felonías de transportación de narcóticos para ventas, tres cargos de felonías de ventas de sustancias controladas (metanfetaminas) y un cargo de felonía por venta de narcóticos a menos de 1.000 pies de una escuela. La denuncia alega que Guerrero vendió metanfetaminas en tres diferentes ocasiones a menos de 1.000 pies de distancia de la escuela Intermedia de Montebello.

Las supuestas transacciones fueron grabadas con video y audio por alguaciles investigadores y un agente encubierto.

Guerrero deberá presentarse a corte el día de hoy, 7 de noviembre, donde la fiscalia pedirá que la fianza sea aumentada a $120.000. Si es hallado culpable Guerrero enfrenta hasta 11 años en prisión estatal, de acuerdo a la oficina del distrito de abogados.

La noticia del arresto de Guerrero al parecer fue la razón por la cual la reunión del concejo se tornó con más audiencia, incluso con varias personas de pie el pasado 24 de octubre. Aunque muchas tarjetas para comentar fueron sometidas, sólo unos cuantos hicieron declaraciones  en contra de la alcaldesa.

Ray Rodríguez, un residente de Montebello que trabaja con un grupo de niños quienes recientemente fueron parte de la ceremonia del aniversario de 9/11, dijo al concejo que las acusaciones expuestas lo motivaron a hablar en contra de la alcaldesa.

“Me entregaron un certificado de reconocimiento [por parte de la ciudad], pero yo creo que está manchado”, dijo Rodríguez, poco antes de romper el certificado a la mitad y tirarlo a la basura.

“Espero que renuncie, usted no se merece el título de alcaldesa de Montebello,” agregó.

No quedo claro si la mayoría de los residentes presentes estaban a favor o en contra de Cortez.

Linda Nicklas, residente del área, le pidió a la alcaldesa que “por favor renuncie” antes que se cuestione su relación con candidatos que esta apoyando para la elección.

Mientras algunas personas en la audiencia parecían estar de acuerdo por medio de aplausos, otros abucheaban los reclamos.

Ivete Fimbres, residente local, dijo que estaba cansada al igual que todos de escuchar las mismas excusas una y otra vez: que las motivaciones “políticas” están involucradas. Y agregó que ella quiere un alcalde que les provea toda su atención.

“Una vez más nuestra comunidad ha sido plagada con noticias negativas y escándalos: ¿Cuando van a parar estos disparates? dijo Fimbres. “Siento que lo más apropiado para la alcaldesa es que ceda su puesto o tome un tiempo de ausencia de sus deberes en la alcaldía hasta que se resuelva el problema”.

Cortez dijo a la audiencia de aproximadamente 100 personas que les quería “agradecer inmensamente por el apoyo” que ha recibido. “Gracias por permitir que la investigación tome su curso. Gracias por prolongar su cortesía,” finalizó.

Montebello Veterans Resource Center Receives New Upgrades

November 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Just in time for Veterans Day, a resource center in Montebello that provides services to local veterans received a makeover this week as part of a $6,000 renovation grant from The Home Depot Foundation.

Home Depot volunteers were at The Hook Up in Montebello Monday to begin the renovations, which also calls for new furnishings. Montebello city commissioner and council member-elect Vivian Romero nominated the nonprofit group for the grant on behalf of the city. In addition to helping veterans, the resource center also provides services to students, the homeless and low-income families.

The Hook Up, in Montebello, was renovated this week after receiving a grant from the Home Depot Foundation. (Photo courtesy of Esperanza Ortega)

The Hook Up, in Montebello, was renovated this week after receiving a grant from the Home Depot Foundation. (Photo courtesy of Esperanza Ortega)

The grant will fund ceramic tile, a redo of the center’s electrical, a new air conditioning unit, new kitchen appliances and a fresh coat of paint.

It’s a “noticeable change” from when founder Esperanza Ortega and her husband William Valenzuela first opened the center in March 2012, when the walls were covered with donated paint and castoff furniture from the streets.

“We were in much need of the renovation,” said Valenzuela, a Marine Corps veteran himself. “We were looking to make our place more comfortable for our veterans.

Esperanza Ortega told EGP that before the renovation she would worry about clients tripping on the carpet that was just rolled out and taped at the edges, an upgrade from their initially painted floors.

“We are ecstatic about the renovation! When we first opened our center we had a budget for supplies and flooring wasn’t part of that,” she said. “One of our wishes was to one day have tile flooring.”

The Home Depot Foundation aims to improve homes and community facilities that help serve disadvantaged families and individuals. Since 2012, the foundation has focused on helping nonprofit organizations with financial support and volunteers in campaigns that directly impact veterans.

Although the center was opened up in response to The Occupy Movement to help out students and the homeless, the nonprofit recently shifted its focus to include veterans, said Ortega. Since The Hook Up opened, around 500 veterans have gone through their doors.

“There’s no place like this in Montebello, this place attracts a lot of veterans,” said Valenzuela.

Many, like Army veteran Juan Tarin, go to the center to get help filing claims, applying for benefits, or to get a ride to the Veterans Hospital or federal building in Westwood.

“The renovations will improve The Hook Up’s first impression to veterans,” Tarin said. “When the community sees the improvements on the outside they are more likely to want to stop by to find out what’s going on in the inside.”

The Hook Up, located at 923 W. Whittier Blvd. in Montebello, offers free services to students, veterans, homeless and low-income families. (Photo courtesy of Esperanza Ortega)

The Hook Up, located at 923 W. Whittier Blvd. in Montebello, offers free services to students, veterans, homeless and low-income families. (Photo courtesy of Esperanza Ortega)

The grant is a first for the nonprofit, which has operated without government funding and has offered its free services through donations from the community, volunteers, sponsors and money out of the couple’s pockets.

“Hopefully this leads to bigger and better things as far as funds and more clients,” said Valenzuela.

Although the grant and its upgrades will not generate money for the center, Valenzuela told EGP that it allows the couple to focus funding they already have in programs dedicated to veterans and students, rather than building improvements.

“With all the [new] renovations and supplies our center is ready for a new start,” said Ortega, explaining they can now start programs that had been put on hold.

About 30 or so veterans helped with the renovations, which are expected to be completed by Friday, in time for Veterans Day on Monday.

Two blocks away from the center at Montebello City Park, the Veterans Memorial, which was also renovated through a similar grant from The Home Depot Foundation, will be the location for the city’s Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.

 

For more information about The Hook Up and the services they offer, call (323) 516-6382.

Veterans Continue Service With Weekly Clean-Up of ‘Memorial of Brotherhood’

November 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This Sunday morning a group of veterans will gather at the El Pueblo Historic Monument at Father Serra Park in Downtown Los Angeles to provide a small service to honor those who gave the largest sacrifice.

The veterans, members of various service organizations, meet each week to clean the 30-foot-long “Wall of Honor” that the city dedicated in 2009 to honor the 3,741 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Eugene A. Obregon/Congressional Memorial Medal of Honor Foundation hopes to break ground on the third phase of the memorial within the next year.

Every Sunday, a group of veterans volunteer to clean the El Pueblo Historic Monument at Father Sierra Park in Downtown L.A..  (EGP photo by Paul Aranda Jr.)

Every Sunday, a group of veterans volunteer to clean the El Pueblo Historic Monument at Father Sierra Park in Downtown L.A.. (EGP photo by Paul Aranda Jr.)

The third phase will feature a 12-foot by 12-foot base shaped as an Aztec pyramid. The base will feature the names of all 40 Latinos who have received the nation’s highest medal of valor in addition to Obregon’s medal citation. On top of the base will be a statue of Obregon shielding his friend, fellow Marine Bert Johnson. The full monument will stand 20 feet tall and will sit in the center of three concentric circles of brick and benches.

Obregon’s story was selected to represent all the medal recipients based on his East Los Angeles roots and the story of his friendship with his fellow Marine whom he died protecting, according to Francisco Juarez, a Vietnam veteran who currently leads AMVETS Post II.

“This entire project very easily can become the most prominent piece of art in the city because of the message that it sends, the brotherhood of mankind,” Juarez said. “Each Medal of Honor recipient’s citation is very different, but they’re the same in that everyone did something beyond the call of duty.”

Juarez said the message of the monument is not a celebration of war, but rather the lengths that service members will go to protect each other in the most dangerous of times.

“They wanted to showcase the good that we can really do for each other, regardless if you’re a veteran or not,” Juarez added.

Juarez said that the story of Obregon and Johnson is the perfect symbol for that message. A friendship between a Latino from East Los Angeles and an Anglo from Grand Prairie, Texas contrasted with the racial relations of 1950’s America.

As the nation continues a long and often contentious immigration reform effort, Juarez cites Obregon as an example of how Latinos are integrated into the history of the nation. “California, especially Los Angeles can be looked at like immigrants, everything that is not patriotic,” Juarez said. “The fact is this is the most patriotic place you can be, here at this memorial.”

Juarez pointed across the street to the Our Lady Queen of Angeles church where he, as was Obregon, was baptized. “I am not the best Catholic in the world, I don’t go to church every Sunday,” Juarez said. “But I do come here and when I come here I pray.”

Ray Delgado, a Marine and Vietnam veteran, oversees the work of the three original founders of the foundation who have now passed away.  Delgado said everything is on track and the foundation is always seeking more contributions.

With so much focus on the next phase, he started the weekly clean up efforts by himself two years ago to ensure the memorial is always inviting to visitors. Now every Sunday morning at 8 am a group of 8 to 12 veterans can be found cleaning the memorial. Delgado views the Obregon Foundation as an umbrella organization that can bring together all veterans, from all eras.

Randal Camacho, a Navy veteran from the post-Gulf War era, joined the volunteer group just over a month ago.

“I want to do my part as a veteran, to help out while I can,” Camacho said. “I want to make sure the veterans are remembered.” Camacho commutes from Long Beach each week to contribute to the memorial.

Obregon Foundation hopes to break ground on third-phase of memorial to honor Latino military service, highlighted by the friendship of Marines Eugene Obregon and Bert Johnson. (EGP photo by Paul Aranda Jr.)

Obregon Foundation hopes to break ground on third-phase of memorial to honor Latino military service, highlighted by the friendship of Marines Eugene Obregon and Bert Johnson. (EGP photo by Paul Aranda Jr.)

Since its public unveiling in 2009, the memorial has stood relatively in peace. There are some minor graffiti scratches on the bronze plaque. There are marks to show an attempt to steal the plaque, most likely to cash in on the value of the bronze.

Ernie Aguilar is an Army veteran from the post-Gulf War era. He currently serves as post commander of AMVETS Post 33 in Wilmington and hopes to spread awareness of the memorial. An active member of the veteran community, he said he only came to know of the memorial 18-months ago. Since then he has led efforts to bring more volunteers to help with the clean up efforts.

“It’s not only spiritual or emotional,” Aguilar said. “It’s a must, as a reminder of all the people, and the people behind them, who keep us free.”

Aguilar said the memorial honors the service of those whose names are inscribed on the wall along with the service of anyone who has ever worn a military uniform.

He hopes to increase the Latino community’s support of the foundation so the memorial can be finished. Aguilar said he has committed 10 years to service in support of veteran organizations. He is currently in year 4.

As these veterans gather to clean the memorial, they will need the support of city officials to see the full vision of the memorial fulfilled. That support comes from Christopher Espinoza the current general manager of the El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historical Monument Authority. In the past year Espinoza has added two street crossings to connect the memorial to Olvera Street and removed excess vegetation that often covered the existing memorial.

“We support veterans, they are very important to us,” Espinoza said. “They are part of our community.”

Espinoza will assist the foundation with project planning and navigating City Hall to complete the remaining phase.

Juarez said the Foundation hopes to break ground on the third phase within 12 months. Eddie Martinez will create the pyramid that will serve as the base of the statue. Erick Blom, the artist who created the Oscar De La Hoya and Wayne Gretzky statues at the Staples Center, will design the bronze statue of Obregon shielding his friend Johnson.

A fourth phase of the overall project will be the implementation of an educational program for local youth to lean about the achievements of Latinos and veterans throughout the nation’s history.

In the meantime these veterans will continue to meet each weekend to do their small part.

“This is one piece of our legacy,” Camacho said.  “This is a tradition that I find gratifying.”

To learn more about the monument and to make a contribution to the Eugene A. Obregon/Congressional Memorial Medal of Honor Foundation visit www.obregoncmh.org. To read past stories about the memorial, go to www.EGPNews.com.

Los Angeles Aqueduct Centennial Celebrated

November 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles Aqueduct engineer William Mulholland’s famous words, “There it is, take it!” rang out again Tuesday in a historical re-enactment of the events of Nov. 5, 1913, when water first flowed 233 miles from the Owens Valley into Los Angeles.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and city officials, mingling with actors impersonating historical figures, gathered Tuesday in Sylmar, where the snow melt from the eastern Sierra Nevada cascades down a studded flume into the San Fernando Valley, to celebrate the aqueduct’s 100th anniversary.

The massive public works project is widely credited with transforming Los Angeles from a sleepy agricultural town into a modern metropolis, allowing for rapid expansion of the city and the development of the San Fernando Valley.

Actor Rich Skidmore (lower center) played William Mulholland Tuesday at LADWP Cascade reenactment in honor of the aqueduct’s 100th anniversary. (Photo courtesy of LADWP)

Actor Rich Skidmore (lower center) played William Mulholland Tuesday at LADWP Cascade reenactment in honor of the aqueduct’s 100th anniversary. (Photo courtesy of LADWP)

It was also considered a great feat of engineering, since the flow was powered solely by gravity.

With city officials looking on, Department of Water and Power workers cranked opened the gates of the aqueduct gates to unleash a torrent of water, recalling the moment in 1913 when Mulholland gave the city what it needed.

Owens Valley residents were as angry as Angelenos were happy, since the lost irrigation water decimated farming in Inyo County.

The aqueduct brought “water that truly created the city of Los Angeles, without which we would not be sitting here today,” Department of Water and Power chief Ron Nichols said.

From the Los Angeles River, which lent the city its name, to the aqueduct that was built when the river proved insufficient, “our city’s destiny has always been linked closely to water,” Garcetti said.

Los Angeles’ population grew from about 300,000 to about 800,000 in the decade after the completion of the waterway.

“Think about that. In a decade, half a million people moving here because of what this aqueduct was able to do,” he said. “Today we’re a global capital of 4 million and a metropolitan region of 12 million.”

Descendants of major players in the construction of the aqueduct — including Christine Mulholland, the great-granddaughter of the aqueduct’s chief engineer, William Mulholland — were also among the featured guests.

The descendants and period actors recounted the lengths taken to conceive of and plan for the $23 million project, the newspaper boosterism employed to pitch a bond issue to taxpayers and the political lobbying required to get federal authorization.

But even as they celebrate the “marvel of engineering, the marvel of foresight” that made the aqueduct possible, Nichols acknowledged Los Angeles gained not just water, but also a “century of tension” with Owens Valley land owners. In recent years, the city agreed to return some water to the mostly dry Owens River to help reduce dust storms and restore habitats.

“The last 20 years, there’s been a fair amount of compromise with respect to that,” Nichols said.

In June, LADWP agreed to pay $10 million, continue dust control measures in the Owens Valley and to preserve historic Native American artifacts as part of a settlement reached with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District in Inyo County.

Garcetti said the city was now faced with shedding its dependence on imported water, not only from the Los Angeles Aqueduct but the Colorado River.

“After years of taking our water for granted, something radical again must be done,” he said. “There are no more sources to tap. There are no more pipelines to build … Los Angeles can, must and will protect its destiny.”

The city will need to clean up its own polluted aquifers, he said, adding that pavement also needs to be broken up where possible to let rain water seep into the ground to recharge aquifers.

“So, as we might have said in the past, ‘Here it is, take it,’ I say to you today, ‘Here it still is,”’ he said. “Let us treasure it, let us conserve it, let us share it.”

Comienzan a Cerrar Dispensarios de Marihuana en Los Ángeles que Violan la Proposición D

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El dueño de una propiedad que alquilaba un local comercial a un dispensario de marihuana en el Sur de Los Ángeles ha sido multado $500 por violar la Proposición D, y 51 otros dispensarios por toda la ciudad también enfrentan el mismo destino, dijo recientemente el portavoz del abogado de la ciudad Mike Feuer.

La Proposición D fue aprobada por los votantes de la ciudad de Los Ángeles este año y regula a los negocios de marihuana en Los Ángeles. La ley permite la existencia de solo 135 de estos dispensarios en la ciudad.

Poco despúes de que se le presentaran cargos menores en su contra el pasado mes de agosto, Donald Curtis Andrews desalojó a su inquilino, dueño del dispensario Universal Holistic Collective localizado en el 3546 Martin Luther King Blvd., dijo Rob Wilcox, portavoz de Feuer.

Andrews, quien no disputó los cargos el pasado 8 de octubre, es uno de numerosos dueños de propiedades y/o dispensarios que son blancos de cierre bajo la Prop. D.

Si Andrews paga los $500 de fianza y cumple con otros términos de la corte—incluso no alquilar su propiedad otra vez como dispensario de marihuana o ninguna otra actividad relacionada con la marihuana u otras sustancias controladas—él puede retirar su declaración de no disputar los cargos en un año y su caso será cerrado, dijo Wilcox.

De violar los términos, Andrews se enfrenta a penalidades más severas. Podría llegar a obtener hasta 36 meses de libertad condicional, una multa de $1.000 y 45 días en la cárcel del condado o 30 días de servicio comunitario, agregó Wilcox.

A principios de octubre, Feuer prometió que no sólo se enfocaría en los negocios de marihuana medicinal sino también en los dueños de las propiedades.

Una vez que los dueños de las propiedades “quienes decidan que no permitirán la oportunidad de ser demandados en una acción criminal” y sepan que la ciudad “no esta jugando”, ellos mismos desalojarán a los dispensarios ilegales, dijo Feuer.

Los casos fiscales se distribuyen basados en las quejas comunitarias y la colaboración del departamento de la policía y el Departamento de Seguridad y Construcción, dijo Wilcox.

Otros 51 dispensarios en el Valle de San Fernando, Venice, Boyle Heights, Hollywood, Sur de Los Ángeles y otras comunidades del área enfrentan cargos, de acuerdo con la lista proveída por la oficina de Feuer.

Los dispensarios y dueños de propiedades que violen la Propuesta D enfrentan cargos menores que pudieran llevar a penalidades de hasta $1.000 o seis meses en la cárcel.

Feuer, quien tomó cargo el primero de julio, dijo que está agregando casos a su lista semanalmente. Su oficina mandó cartas a más de 800 dispensarios de marihuana que se cree siguen operando. Al menos 40 cerraron voluntariamente desde que se les notificó de la prohibición de dispensarios, la cual tomó efecto el pasado 20 de julio, dijo Feuer.

 

Breves de la Comunidad

November 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Boyle Heights

Un supuesto pandillero fue baleado el 3 de noviembre en las esquinas de las calles 4th y Soto y fue hospitalizado en condición critica después de un altercado con oficiales en Boyle Heights. El tiroteo que involucró a un agente de LAPD surgió alrededor de las 9:45 p.m. dijo el sargento de policía Michael Morisseau. “Los oficiales se encuentran bien, el sospechoso estaba consiente y respiraba cuando fue transportado al hospital con varios tiros de bala y un arma fue recuperada en la escena”, explicó. El tiroteo ocurrió tras una persecución a pie y posiblemente estaba relacionada con pandillas, dijo Norma Eisenman, oficial de LAPD.

 

Los Ángeles

El abogado de inmigración y autor, Nelson A. Castillo presentará su libro en español La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo obtener la residencia permanente en los Estados Unidos, una guía simple y clara para inmigrantes que quieren obtener la residencia permanente. El evento se llevará a cabo el 16 de noviembre en la biblioteca Stevenson, localizada en 803 Spence St., Los Ángeles, CA 90023. Para obtener más información llame al (323) 263-6901.

 

Los Ángeles 

El Departamento de Agua y Luz (LADWP) de Los Ángeles ha anunciado que después de 39 años han reemplazado su Sistema de Información para el Cliente (CIS por sus siglas en inglés). El sistema es una plataforma que conecta casi todos los aspectos de operaciones de utilidad, incluyendo servicio al cliente, medidores y recibos. LADWP lamenta que ha recibido llamadas de clientes, ya sea reportando problemas o tienen preguntas con referencia a su cuenta. También, ha recibido llamadas de clientes de compañías comerciales, clientes residenciales de energía solar y otros que tienen problemas con sus recibos. LADWP se disculpa y dice estar completamente enfocado en resolver estos problemas lo más pronto posible. Clientes con preguntas pueden comunicarse al 1-800-342-5397.

 

Highland Park

La policía esta investigando el reporte de un tiroteo que ocurrió el miércoles alrededor de las 4:40 p.m. en el 220 North Avenue 57 en Highland Park. Sin embargo, no se han encontrado victimas, dijo Rosario Herrera, oficial de LAPD. Más información no estaba rápidamente disponible.

 

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