Neighborhood Council Elections Held This Saturday

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Eight of nine neighborhood councils in the East and Northeast area of Los Angeles will hold elections this Saturday, Oct. 13. Residents are encouraged to go to their designated polling place and vote for representatives to the neighborhood council in their community.

The Los Angles neighborhood council system aims to increase civil participation and make the city more responsive in delivering city services and making budget priorities. Each neighborhood council includes members representing the various stakeholders — residents and local entities such as businesses and nonprofit groups — with a stake in the area represented by the neighborhood council.

Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Este Sábado Son las Elecciones de los Consejos Vecinales de L.A.

The Greater Cypress Park Neighborhood Council is the only Northeast L.A. area group not holding a scheduled election. Not enough candidates filed to run for a seat, according to Stephen Box, elections coordinator for Empower LA, formerly known as DONE.

Seven candidates filed for nine available seats, but 10 candidates are needed for a contest, Box said. The neighborhood council will instead hold a town hall meeting where they will accept applications for the council. The town hall will take place at the first regularly scheduled meeting following the election; the GCPNC meets the third Tuesday of the month, which next lands on Oct. 16, Box said.

This is the first election for the revamped Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council that reduced the number of its members required for a quorum and rewrote its bylaws last year during efforts to avoid being dissolved. The BHNC will be hosting a free lunch for Boyle Heights’ residents that show their “I voted Sticker” after voting. The lunch at Ross Valencia Park is being provided by Chavez Pollo and Burgers.

The BHNC is holding a candidates forum today, Oct. 11, at 6pm at the Puente Learning Center, located at 501 S. Boyle Ave. Thirty-three candidates are vying for seats in the BHNC election.

The Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council also recently overcame exhaustive efforts, a process imposed by Empower LA, the city agency that oversees the neighborhood council system. Members were required to participate in a variety of workshops aimed at addressing the council’s dysfunction. The group’s bylaws were also updated.

Earlier this year, the Hermon community sought to become independent of the ASNC, an effort that seems to have been abandoned since the same Hermon community leaders who sought certification for the tiny community are now running to represent Hermon on the ASNC board.

There are 95 Neighborhood Councils in the city of Los Angeles. Each council has its own set of bylaws and rules, and requirements for voting; only some of the councils require documentation proving someone is a stakeholder in the community before they can vote.

The Historic Highland Park, Lincoln Heights, LA-31 and Boyle Heights neighborhood councils require some proof, like a library card, school identification card, cell phone bill, business card, or pay stub to show an individual is eligible to vote. For a list of documents, visit the Empower LA website.

The Arroyo Seco and Glassell Park neighborhood councils require only self-affirmation, Box said.

Voters in the neighborhood council do not have to be citizens, or registered to vote, he said.

For a list of polling places and information on candidates, visit or call (818) 293-8683.

Where to vote:

Arroyo Seco NC: 10am to 4pm at Ramona Hall Community Center Lobby, 4580 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, Ca 90065.
Boyle Heights NC: 10am to 4pm at the Benjamin Franklin Branch Library, 2200 E. 1st Street, LA, 90033.
Eagle Rock NC: 10am to 4pm at the Eagle Rock City Hall, downstairs community room, 2035 Colorado Blvd, LA, 90041.
Glassell Park NC: 10am to 4pm at the Glassell Park Senior Citizen Center, 3750 N. Verdugo Rd., LA 90065.
Historic Highland Park NC: 10am to 4pm at the Highland Park Recreation Center, 6150 Piedmont Ave., LA 90042.
LA-32 NC: 9am to 3pm at the El Sereno Senior Citizen Center, 4818 Klamath Pl, LA 90032.
Lincoln Heights NC: 10am to 4pm at the Lincoln Heights Senior Citizen Center, 2323 Workman Street, LA 90031.

SCE Honors Businesses During Hispanic Heritage Month

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Partnerships, diversity and investment, the three words most emphasized by Southern California Edison (SCE) last week when it honored three Hispanic-owned businesses and a scholarship foundation during a special program held in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The event, part business, part education forum and part entertainment, was held at SCE’s Energy Education in the City of Industry. It was billed as a celebration of business and community partnerships.

Carob Valley Electric Receives SCE’s “Diverse Business ENterprice Award.” Pictured left to right: Ted Craver, Chairman, President & CEO, Edison International, Larry Kalantari, Chief Financial Officer, Carob Valley Electric, Inc., Edward Chavez, President, Carob Valley Electric, Inc., SCE representative: Walter Rhodes, Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer, Supply Management, SCE representative: Joe Alderete, Manager Supply Diversity. (Photo Courtesy of Southern California Edison)

An enthusiastic Gene Rodrigues, Director, Customer Energy Efficiency & Solar Division, started the program by telling the 200 or so guests that SCE sees “Diversity as something that brings us together to create a more robust system.”

“We do not just want to be a company in California, we want to be part of California,” he said, so that means diversity has to be a part of everything we do. Why? “Because it just makes good sense,” he said.

Rodrigues said Hispanic Heritage Month is a good time to pay tribute to Hispanics business owners for the contributions they make to our communities, referring to the economic development they create.

SCE is committed to building relationships with Hispanic-owned businesses, “Not to just get your business, but to understand your business,” Rodrigues said, adding that the company tries to work with its customers to help them find the best solutions for their energy needs, and to save money.

Ted Craver, chairman, president and CEO of Edison International, SCE’s parent company, noted that the company and its employees contribute millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to the community. We don’t think of it as philanthropy, charity, but an investment in the community, he said. “We can’t just pick up our business and move, so it makes sense that we invest in the community, in education” to strengthen the economy and improve the workforce, he said. “If we don’t, we won’t have a business.”

That sentiment was echoed by two guest speakers invited by SCE.

J. Michael Ortiz, PHd., president of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, discussed the latest numbers on Hispanic educational attainment. He emphasized the importance of “expectations,” and the role it plays in Latinos furthering their education. He said more than ever, education is key to economic security: “For our people (Hispanics) education is the front door, it’s how we move forward in the future.”

Monica Gil, Senior Vice President Public Affairs and Government Relations for Nielsen, a global provider of information and data on everything from television viewership to Internet usage and grocery shopping patterns, drove home the point that “Latinos are the most coveted demographic — whether they play “futbol or football, dance salsa or eat salsa”— by corporate America. “And I have the data to prove it,” she said.

She said corporations don’t know what to do about Hispanics, even Nielsen had a hard time figuring out what to do with her, but added it’s time for companies to “embrace” the things that make Hispanics unique,” and for Hispanics to be proud of their culture. Hispanics in the U.S. have one trillion dollars in purchasing power, and if they “were their own country, they would be the 12th largest economy in the world, just below France and right above Korea,” she said.

SCE also introduced its Hispanic business award recipients, chosen for their efforts and partnerships with SCE that have resulted in substantial improvements in energy usage.

Two companies received SCE’s Energy Efficiency Participation Award. C & F Foods, owned by the Faura family, distributes and exports dried beans, peas, rice and popcorn. In 2011, they installed the Smartcool refrigeration system that saves them about 76.444 kilowatt-hours annually.

Glasswerks LA, Inc specializes in glass products and services, and was founded by Ruben Huerta, Randy Steinberg and Ed Rosengrant. The company participated in SCE’s customized and Express Solutions program, and received $77,000 in rebates for installing energy saving technology that saved them 742,913 kilowatt hours annually.

Carob Valley Electric provides technical and construction assistance to SCE, for its substations for public utilities and municipalities. Company President Edward Chavez accepted SCE’s Diverse Business Enterprise Award.

A non-business group was also honored last Friday. The Esperanza Scholarship Foundation was the recipient of SCE’s Community Partnership Award. Since its beginning, the foundation has provided more than $500,000 in scholarship with assistance from their community and business partners.

Bell Gardens Walmart Store Comes with Jobs, Sales Taxes

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The latest Walmart Neighborhood Market will open its doors in Bell Gardens next week, offering local residents and neighboring southeast cities a quick and convenient place to shop for groceries and pharmaceuticals.

The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 a.m. in the Los Jardines Shopping Center on 6820 Eastern Ave. in Bell Gardens. It will feature product samplings and giveaways.

The store will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. According to a Walmart press release, the store will feature a self-serve deli and bakery, a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, a full line of groceries, including gluten-free, organic items and a large selection of Hispanic items.

Read this story IN SPANISH: Nuevo Supermercado de Walmart Esta Por Abrir en Bell Gardens

Bell Gardens’ City Manager Phil Wagner told EGP the location is good for residents and the businesses surrounding the new market.

“It’s an important addition to our community, specifically to the downtown shopping area,” Wagner said. “Not only will residents in our community shop there, I hope it will attract residents from other cities to shop in Bell Gardens,” he said.

The store will be freeway-convenient, right off the 710 Freeway, at the intersection of Eastern and Florence Avenues. The store will also serve the neighboring communities of Bell, South Gate and Huntington Park.

Walmart has hired approximately 65 full-time and part-time employees to work at the 31,000 square-foot store, according to the retailer. As part of the grand opening celebration, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will present $8,000 in grants to local community groups focusing on education and hunger relief in the Bell Gardens area, the company said in a written statement.

“Walmart made a great effort to hire residents from the area,” Wagner noted. “[Walmart] wants to be an active participant in the community and we’re really encouraged by that,”

Although other Walmart Neighborhood Market openings have created controversy and protest in the past, the city of Bell Gardens welcomed the store and according to Wagner, the city has not received negative comments from its residents regarding the new retailer.

Bell Gardens, like many other cities has seen a decline in sales and tax revenue. Money from the city’s largest revenue generator, the Bicycle Casino, has declined significantly in recent years.

“We welcome Walmart Neighborhood Market to Bell Gardens. In addition to providing a new and convenient place to shop, Walmart will provide additional sales tax revenue to our community and about 100 new jobs, both desperately needed in this sluggish economy,” Wagner told EGP.

Walmart Neighborhood Markets are smaller than typical Walmart stores. According to a company press release, only 200 of the stores exist across the country. The Bell Gardens Neighborhood Market is the second Walmart Neighborhood to open in Los Angeles County, following one that opened last month in Panorama City, another heavily Latino community located in the San Fernando Valley.

Schurr High School Bomb Threat Rattles Nerves

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Authorities searched the grounds of Schurr High School in Montebello Monday after receiving a 911 call of a bomb at the campus, but no explosives were found.

Officers went to the school at 820 Wilcox Ave. shortly before 8 a.m., said Montebello police Lt. Luis Lopez.

Students were moved to a secure area while a bomb squad searched the school. The campus was declared safe shortly before 11 a.m., Lopez said.

During the search, an unattended backpack was discovered near the tennis courts, but it contained only school-related items, Lopez said.

Parents, learning of the situation, rushed to the school to check on the safety of their student.

School officials decided to resume the school day after being given the all clear from the police.

Parents waited in line to pick up their children after a phony bomb threat had Schurr High School locked-down for hours. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

A number of parents and guardians, however, opted to take their child home for the remainder of the school day, causing some parents to fume at the time it took to sign their child out.

Parents like Allen Kuruma, who went to Shurr to pick up his freshman son, said they felt the school administration was not prepared to handle an emergency. Kuruma complained that in some cases it took up to two hours to checkout a student.

“They weren’t prepared for anything like this, [but] hopefully they make arrangements to be prepared in the future,” Kuruma told EGP, “because what if there really was a bomb.”

Carmen Murraoka waited an hour after the campus was declared safe to sign out her two teenagers. She told EGP she hopes the school comes up with a better way to handle these types of situations in the future.

“They have only one computer working for hundreds and hundreds of parents and students waiting for their kids,” Murraoka complained.

Magnet School Applications Due Early This Year

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(EGPNews) -Los Angeles Unified School district magnet schools applications are due Nov. 16, earlier than in previous years.

The magnet program is called “Choices” and applications must be postmarked or received by the district’s Student Integration Services by 5 p.m. on Nov. 16.

More information about the program can be found at where parents and guardians can access transportation information, maps, a school selection tool and a step-by-step tutorial on how to fill out the CHOICES application. The online application was made available starting Oct. 8.

Paper copies of the Choices brochures in English and Spanish (Opciones) were also made available at all LAUSD schools, the Los Angeles City public libraries, Educational Service Centers (ESC), Parent Community Services Branch (PCSB), and District headquarters. Copies of brochures, applications and instructions are available in Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Farsi, Tagalog or Vietnamese from their local school, or online at the eChoices website.

For information about the programs call (213) 241-6532.

Fatal Stabbing Suspect In Custody

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(CNS) – A Bakersfield man accused of fatally stabbing a man during a brawl that erupted between rival Pop Warner football fans at a Monterey Park restaurant was charged Wednesday with murder.

Jose De Jesus Ruiz, 22, was scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Alhambra Superior Court in connection with the slaying of Patrick Raymond Ortega, 25, of Monterey Park.

The confrontation occurred shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday at a Shakey’s restaurant at 1955 S. Atlantic Blvd. Ruiz attended a Pop Warner game in Bell Gardens before going to the restaurant, where a group of fans from a rival team had also gone, according to authorities.

Ortega was stabbed multiple times during an argument that escalated into a physical fight.

Ruiz was arrested the following day by Monterey Park police.

Prosecutors planned to ask that bail be set at $1 million for the defendant, who is also known by the name Jose De Jesus Salas.
If convicted, he could face 26 years to life in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Copper Burglary Suspect Arrested at Boyle Heights Business

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(CNS) – A burglary suspect was arrested Oct. 8 while allegedly trying to steal copper from a Boyle Heights metal supply company, authorities said.

The suspect was caught at M-5 Steel Manufacturing at 1450 Mirasol St., said Sgt. Rick Columbia, of the Los Angeles Police Department Hollenbeck Station.

The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, will be booked on suspicion of commercial burglary, Columbia said.

Officers searched the building for a couple of hours, but no other suspects were found. A witness at the scene said the business has been burglarized before, and copper was the target.

Man Critically Wounded in Lincoln Park Shooting

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(CNS) – A man wounded twice in a shooting in Lincoln Park Saturday was later hospitalized in critical condition.

The attack the 2200 block of Johnson Street was reported about 10:05 p.m., Oct. 6, Los Angeles police at the Hollenbeck Station said.

One of two men who confronted the victim shot him, police said. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics reported the victim in critical condition en route to County-USC Medical Center.

USC, White Memorial Host Fair for Better Health

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Get your health questions answered and catch any potential ailments at this Saturday’s health fair held at Hollenbeck Park where more than 80 health providers and community organizations will be on hand to offer an array of screenings and important health information.

Now in its tenth year, the “Bridge to Health”, wellness, and safety fair will be held Oct. 13, 11am-3pm, through a partnership between the University of Southern California and White Memorial Hospital.

The fair’s menu of health screenings include cholesterol and diabetes check-ups and are geared toward preventing illnesses before they happen or become too serious. Other screenings and preventative services to be offered this Saturday will include body fat, hypertension, osteoporosis, dental and vision exams, and flu shots.

Physicians from White Memorial Hospital and USC will also be on hand at an “Ask the Doctor” booth to answer questions about Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, cancer, mental health, nutrition and physical fitness.

There will also be opportunities to learn about healthier lifestyle habits including physical fitness activities that include a “Zumba-thon” aerobic dance workshop and demonstrations of healthy cooking methods and recipes.

The Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA will also have a Kids Zone play area set up for younger participants of the fair.

“Bridge to Health” is partially funded by the USC Neighborhood Outreach Grant. L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar, the Consulado General de Mexico en Los Angeles, Rose Hills, and the YMCA were also involved in putting together the event.

Hollenbeck Park is located at 415 S. Saint Louis Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033.

Community Calendar: October 11, 2012 to October 17, 2012

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today, Thursday, October 11
5pm—City of Commerce Hosts “Suicide Prevention” Presentation by the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Suicide Prevention Center in the Emergency Operations Center Meeting Room, 2535 Commerce Way. No registration is required. For more information, call the Community Services Dept at (323) 887-4460.

6:30pm—First of Four Commerce Mayor’s State of the City addresses takes place at Bristow Park: 1466 S. McDonnell Ave. Mayor Lilia Leon will discuss the state of the city and city plans for progress and growth. Public is encouraged to attend and use the opportunity to voice their concerns and ask city officials and staff questions. Additional addresses will be held at 6:30 pm on Oct. 17 at the Ruben C. Batres Community Center, 4725 Astor Ave.; Oct. 18 Commerce Senior Center, 2555 Commerce Way; & Oct. 25 in the Veterans Park meeting room, 6364 Zindell Ave. For more information, call (323) 887-4447.

Saturday, October 13
11-am-3pm—Bridge to Health Free Community Health, Wellness & Safety Fair at Hollenbeck Park presented by USC University of California, White Memorial Medical Center in collaboration with Councilmember Jose Huizar, the YMCA, Consulado General de Mexico en Los Angeles, USC Good Neighbors Campaign and Rose Hills. The Fair will offer free screenings and doctor consultations along with other activities. Receive a Body Fat Analysis, or cholesterol, dental, diabetes, hypertension and osteoporosis screenings. Enjoy Kids Zone, and more. Hollenbeck Park is located at 415 S. St. Louis St. LA 90033.

9am-4pm—Shake, Rattle & Roll at the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council ‘s Earthquake & Disaster Survival Drill and Fair. Learn what it takes for your neighborhood to survive a major earthquake disaster: It’s takes more than just knowing to Drop, Cover and Hold On! Two Ways to participate: 1. Meet at 9am at the Montecito Heights Recreation Center and learn survival skills as you watch your neighbors conduct search, rescue & evacuation drills; 2. From 9am to 4pm, gather family & friends to take part in an online interactive disaster survival scenario. Survival Fair takes place from 11am to 2pm at Sycamore Grove Park and will include games, prizes, food, music, disaster survival supplies, emergency vehicles, and more.

5-9pm—Eagle Rock Oktoberfest at the Solheim Lutheran Home in Eagle Rock, with live music by Bavarian Stew and more. Advanced tickets are $10/$15 at the door: food & drink tickets purchased separately. Solheim is located at 2236 Merton Ave. LA 90041. For more information, visit or call (323) 257-7519.

Sunday, October 14
11am—First Congregational Church of Los Angeles to Host “Blessing of the Animals” following Sunday service in the forecourt of the church. The public is invited to acknowledge that importance of a beloved pet with a special blessing: each animal will receive a certificate of their blessing. First Congregational Church is located at 540 S. Commonwealth Ave, LA 90020. For more information visit: or call (213) 355-5235.
Tuesday, October 16

6pm—Folksongs at the East Los Angeles Library with singers Jim McAuley and Mary MacQueen, performing a delightful program of international folksongs. The program is free. The library is located at 4837 E. 3rd St. LA 90022. For more information, call (323) 264-0155 or visit the web site at

Proyecto Pastoral will hold Heart of the Community 9th Annual Benefit Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 18. For sponsorship and ticket information, contact Fatima Djelman at or call (323) 881-0018.

City of Commerce’s Annual Halloween Decorations Contest gets Underway. Open to all residents. Commerce’s Beautification Committee is searching for the most original, creative, and spookiest Halloween decorated homes. One winner will be selected from city’s 4 neighborhoods: Rosewood Park, Bandini Park, Veterans Park and Bristow Park.  Winners will receive a $75 gift certificate. Applications are being delivered to all Commerce homes and are available at City Hall. Applications must be received at City Hall by 6pm on Oct. 22. Judging takes place Oct. 24. For more information, call Liz Garcia at (323) 722-4805 ext. 2812.

Upcoming Events
Celebrate Rio Hondo College’s 50th Anniversary at “Rio Fest” on Oct. 20, from 3 to 9pm on the Soccer Field. Event will feature music and interactive games (3-6:30 p.m.) Food will be available for purchase from 14 of L.A.’s best food trucks. Tickets are $5 in advance; $10 day of event; children 6-11 $5; five & under free. For more information, go to . 

Free Flu shots at the Arroyo Vista Family Health Center in Highland Park on Oct. 25 from 8am to 12 Noon to anyone over the age of 6 months. No appointment is necessary; but supplies are limited so come early. Arroyo Vista is located at 6000 N. Figueroa St. LA 90042. For more information, call (323) 987-2007 or (323) 987-2028.

Hathaway – Sycamores Annual Harvest Festival will take place Oct. 26 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Enjoy a night full of fun & games, storytelling, dance & music performances, arts & crafts and more. Take part in the costume parade, win prizes. The e Center is located at 840 N. Ave. 66 LA (Highland Park) 90042. For more information, contact Andi Sica at (626)395-7100 x2516.

Monterey Park will hold an E-waste recycling event on Sat., Oct. 27 from 9am to 3pm at the Barnes Park Service Clubhouse. Residents can get rid of old computers and electronics responsibly and conveniently ? without getting out of their car. Workers will safely unload electronic waste from automobiles as they arrive at the clubhouse parking area. Barns Park Clubhouse is located at 440 S. McPherrin Ave., Monterey Park, 91754. For questions on what can be brought to the event call 909-467-4800 or visit

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