Breastfeeding Moms Get Tips, Support at Bell Gardens WIC

October 4, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

For new mothers, pain, discomfort, and the embarrassment of having to ask “silly questions” often betray popular images portraying them as smiling, confident women breastfeeding their babies.

The surprising truth is that while most give breastfeeding a try, they end up quitting before the six months recommended by doctors, turning instead to formula out of convenience, if not frustration.

“It’s hard to breastfeed,” says Martha Gonzalez, a participant at a recent workshop on breastfeeding at the Bell Gardens WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) center, a federally-funded nutrition program.

Gonzalez whose own experience with her nine-month old was filled with uncertainty says she had so many “silly questions” when she began, including ones about how to hold her own baby and whether or not her breast would suffocate him while he was feeding.

“Thinking back in my head, those questions just sound silly,” but she asked them anyway. “At the time [those questions] were really important to me,” she says.

She was able to find answers at the WIC center in Bell Gardens, which she says is one of the best around with its breast pump loan program, dedicated breastfeeding counselor and multitude of workshops and support groups where mothers share techniques and tips.

Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Mamás Obtienen Apoyo y Consejos Acerca de Dar Pecho en el WIC de Bell Gardens

During the workshop, Gonzalez’s ears perk up when a woman behind her asks for advice about how to fit breastfeeding into a busy work schedule. She is eager to offer help in this area and informs the woman that WIC loans out high quality breast milk pumps

Like a few of the other mothers there, Gonzalez only learned about WIC’s breastfeeding program after experiencing some early complications. Her baby, Adrian, was born two months premature, but she says most people would not be able to tell that now.
She attributes this to feeding her son breast milk instead of formula.

Sonia Hernandez, with her second son at the Bell Gardens WIC. (EGP photo by Elizabeth Hsing-Huei Chou)

Breast milk is believed to have added nutrients that reduce incidences of childhood complications, as well as obesity and diabetes, say counselors at the Bell Gardens WIC. Every year, the Bell Gardens WIC holds a breastfeeding awareness walk, something that they began nearly two decades ago.

WIC Supervisor Stella Sancedo says their goal is to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding among women who come to their Bell Gardens center. About 50 percent of mothers breastfeed exclusively during the baby’s first month, but the number drops soon after to 15 percent, as some mothers begin introducing formula into their baby’s diet, according to the center’s figures from July 2012.

They often give up because breastfeeding can hurt if not done correctly, or the mothers do not think they have the time to do it, says breastfeeding peer counselor Hilda Estaban.

Counselors teach breastfeeding methods and techniques to new and expectant mothers during a recent workshop at the Bell Gardens WIC. (EGP photo by Elizabeth Hsing-Huei Chou)

Thirty-two year old Downey resident Sonia Hernandez first came by the Bell Gardens WIC to redeem some formula coupons that she received from the hospital. Like many mothers, Hernandez wanted to give breastfeeding a try, but gave up after a frustrating attempt with her first son. “He didn’t like it,” she said.

When her second son was born, she told herself, “I’m going to try it, but if it doesn’t work, I’m not going to keep on doing it.”
She says it just was not that important to her at first, but when her second son Steven contracted a serious infection at three weeks old and had to be put on antibiotics for 21 days, counselors at the WIC advised her to try breastfeeding him.

She believes the breast milk helped, and says Steven got over the infection and is happy and calm now. As she bounces her son, now three months old, on her lap, she is crossing her fingers that she will not have to take him back to the hospital.

“It’s the best thing for your child. For me, the experience I’ve been through, I don’t know what would have happened to my son if I didn’t breastfeed,” she said.

But many of the people around her are not yet sold on breastfeeding. Her husband sometimes complains about the time commitment. Early on, some babies need to be fed as often as every half hour. Hernandez recalls fighting with her husband about it. “I said, you see him, if he gets sick again… what do you want me to do, stop breastfeeding and get him in the hospital again?”

Most of her female friends prefer to use formula, says Hernandez. They think it will make them smell like milk, she says, calling the rationale “stupid.” Her mother did not breastfeed, but seems proud that she is doing it, she adds.

There has been a relatively recent national push to get more women to breastfeed, with spokespeople ranging from the U.S. Surgeon General and First Lady Michelle Obama, says Deborah Myers, chief nutritionist for the South Los Angeles Health Projects which runs local WIC centers, including the Bell Gardens location.

Myers says WIC began offering a new package to promote breastfeeding in 2009. Unlike the usual WIC food packages, this one gives mothers an incentive to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months by extending the food supply to the entire first year.

She adds that breastfeeding awareness is also starting to extend to hospitals where more and more are working to become more “baby friendly,” meaning more are encouraging of breastfeeding over formula. “I would say the hospitals are in their early stages, but they’re aware and working on it. Most of them are beginning or in the process of examining policies and updating procedures,” Myers says.

The country has come a long way from when formula was considered the first choice and a whole generation of babies were fed only on formula, says Myers. “For many years there was a feeling that those who were breastfeeding advocates were going against the tide. The lowest rate of breastfeeding I believe was in the 70s.”

For more information about the Bell Gardens WIC call (310) 661-3080 . They are located at 6501 South Garfield Ave., Bell Gardens, CA 90201.

 

Editor’s Note:  The Bell Gardens WIC number for more information has been updated.

Salazar Park Seniors’ Issues Are Resolved

October 4, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

The Friends of Salazar Park Seniors, a group of volunteers, say they are now satisfied with the outcome of recent meetings to address policies they said would hurt their ability to raise money and provide services at the unincorporated East Los Angeles area park.

Last week, EGP reported that Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation officials had informed the seniors and other groups at the park that several policies were not being followed at the site, and that was about to change.

From now on, park officials said, non-profit groups using park facilities to hold fundraisers would have to give 10 percent of what they raise to the county. Other groups and some individuals using the facilities for services where they collect money, would be required to enter into a special recreation contract with the county and pay 30 percent of their proceeds to the parks and recreation department. In addition, all groups would have to provide their own insurance, Acting Regional Parks and Recreation Director Albert Gomez informed the seniors.

Upset over the changes, senior volunteers at the park threatened to boycott the park and take their efforts elsewhere. They told EGP they felt they were being punished for calling attention to an exercise instructor they said was pocketing a lot of money charging for her classes, but not giving any of it back to the park.

But it now seems that the seniors can continue on as usual with their activities at the park, including efforts to raise money for special events and programs for the seniors.

The policies outlined do not apply to the seniors, according to Kaye Michelson, special assistant LA County Dept. of Parks of Recreation. “We needed just to clarify this information and that’s what we’re doing,” she said, responding to the distress voiced by the seniors.

Friends of Salazar Park and Club Victoria will be able to continue fundraising that directly benefits park programs without having to pay the 10 percent and “we will continue to support their efforts,” Michelson told EGP on Monday.

“The 10 percent is if someone is going to rent our facility and put on a large event for the community, for example,” she said, regarding the policy for non-profits that use the site.

Chris Mojica, long-time senior coordinator and volunteer, credited EGP with the positive outcome that enables them to continue their work that benefits seniors and community members at one of East Los Angeles’ most active parks.

“Through your story… there is going to be more cooperation between them and us,” Mojica said.

He said he met with department officials who set things straight. Mojica said he complained about park staff who had let things get out of hand and they apologized and asked him what the seniors need: he responded with a request for new chairs, and a few other items, he told EGP. “We don’t need a lot,” he said.

Mojica, however, said the group still intends to become a 501(c)3 non-profit.

“The senior center at Salazar Park is one of our busiest centers and we appreciate and value all of the hard work of all of the groups at the center,” Michelson said.

The Thanksgiving lunches will continue to be offered to the community, with the support of the department as in years past, Michelson said.

Mojica also said they were planning to expand their turkey basket give-away.

Michelson also highlighted Supervisor Gloria Molina’s many contributions to the park and senior programs and senior outings as examples that the seniors do have the support of county officials.

Ready, Set, Ride! CicLAvia Is This Sunday

October 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Angelenos were forced to take a look at their driving habits last weekend, as work on the 405 Freeway closed off access to one of the busiest traffic routes in the region. Carmageddon II, as the weekend long construction project was called, was backed with a massive outreach campaign to warn commuters to avoid the busy corridor, to stay home or close to home, or to try out another mode of transportation, like Metro rail lines, walking or cycling.

This Sunday, on the heels of Carmageddon II, Angelenos will once again get the chance to rethink how they get around parts of the city. Over 9 miles of Los Angeles streets will be car-free in celebration of the 5th CicLAvia event which will close off multiple streets and turn them into a linear park for biking, strolling and playing.

Streets will be closed for the event from 10am to 3pm. See the route up close at http://www.ciclavia.org/ The new route now includes Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights.

In addition to streets leading to MacArthur Park, Mariachi Plaza and the Soto Station in Boyle Heights, this year CicLAvia’s route will also include Exposition Park, Chinatown, and the newly opened Grand Park in the Los Angeles Civic Center. All six hubs are easily accessible by Metro Rail.

Organizers of the annual event say closing off streets gives people a chance to explore parts of the city they might just rush by in their automobiles. Being at street level, whether on your feet or on a bike, is a chance for people to see things they might not otherwise notice from the inside of a car, CicLAvia organizers note. The new routes “offer unparalleled opportunity to survey Los Angeles’ cultural and culinary riches,” as well as a “grand tour of Los Angeles’ most celebrated attractions,” according to organizers.

And for many people taking part in the event, there could be added health advantage: a new appreciation for physical activity that can be fun as well as good for you. Taking cars off the streets also improves the air quality in some of the city’s heaviest traffic corridors.

CicLAvia challenges the stereotype of Los Angeles as a car-addicted, smog-chocked city. It allows residents to enjoy the benefits of the city’s improved walkability, public transit and vibrant street life, add organizers.

“People love CicLAvia because it is incredibly fun, and there is a sense of camaraderie and community that is rare for a city as large and diverse as ours,” said Aaron Paley, CicLAvia’s co-founder and executive producer, in a written statement.

The event is free of charge and open to all. No reservations are required. CicLAvia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting public health, active green transportation, public space, economic development, and community building through car-free public events. It is made possible through sponsors including the City of Los Angeles, Metro, and the Los Angeles Country Bicycle Coalition. For more information , or to download maps, visit www.ciclavia.org.

Baca Accepts Criticism for Jail Violence

October 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sheriff Lee Baca said Wednesday he accepts many of the recommendations made by a commission that found that a severe lack of top-level oversight of county jails led to repeated cases of excessive force against inmates, but said he was not prepared to fire any senior managers in response to the findings.

Nor was he planning to step aside himself.

“You know, I’m not a person that thinks about quitting on anything,” Baca said during a news conference at the Men’s Central Jail. “The voters had the grace to give me the job and the voters will have the grace to take it away.”

Baca took the brunt of criticism in the report released last week by the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, which was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to investigate allegations of rampant violence by deputies against jail inmates.

The commission found that Baca and other top department managers failed to address the issue until they were confronted by adverse publicity. The panel accused Baca of being insulated from jail management and doing nothing to minimize violence against inmates.

“The problem of excessive and unnecessary force in the Los Angeles County jails was the result of many factors, beginning most fundamentally with a failure of leadership in the department,” according to the commission’s report. “Simply stated, the sheriff did not pay enough attention to the jails until external events forced him to do so.

“Further, his senior leaders failed to monitor conditions in the jails and elevate use-of-force issues so that they received the necessary attention by the sheriff, and the undersheriff engaged in conduct that undermined supervision of aggressive deputies and promoted an environment of lax and untimely discipline of deputy misconduct,” according to the report.

The panel issued dozens of recommendations, most notably the creation of an inspector general’s office to provide oversight of the department and the jails. It also stressed that Baca – who has held the county sheriff’s job for 14 years – needs to be personally engaged in oversight of the jails.

“When I read the recommendations – I couldn’t have written them better myself,” Baca told reporters yesterday.

The sheriff took issue with some of the characterizations in the report of deputies running rampant in the jails, saying the situation did not exist “to the degree the words describe.”

“But I do have some deputies that have done some terrible things,” he conceded.

Baca insisted that he demands his deputies follow the Sheriff’s Department’s core values of respect for everyone, saying dozens of deputies have been fired for failing to meet that standard.

But he said he was not prepared to take immediate action against his second-in-command, Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who was accused by the Citizens’ Commission of discouraging investigations into deputy-misconduct allegations and encouraging deputies to be aggressive against inmates.

Baca said he needs to see proof of such activity before taking action.

“I am not a person that acts impulsively or in my own self-interest when it comes to someone else’s career,” Baca said. “We’ll either have the facts, or we won’t have the facts. But that’s what I have to do because it is not fair, and we do believe evidence and facts drives disciplinary decisions, not allegations.”

In addition to the commission’s investigation, the county jails are also the subject of a federal probe. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which has been critical of deputies’ conduct in the jails, issued a report last month claiming that jailers routinely struck inmates in the head during scuffles.

Community Calendar: October 4, 2012 to October 10, 2012

October 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Saturday, Oct. 6-11am-10:30pm The four-block urban green space, running from the L.A. Music Center to L.A. City Hall, will come alive with music & dance, and international aerial movement pioneer Bandaloop, performing a large-scale vertical dance suspended hundreds of feet high on the exterior of L.A. City Hall to open the final section of the park. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. on the Music Center Plaza, with official grand opening ceremony & aerial show starting at 4pm & continuing through 10:30 p.m. Event is free and open to the public. For a complete schedule & more information, visit http://www.grandparkla.org.

Today, Thursday October 4
6pm—Free Deferred Action (DACA) Information Session in East LA Hosted by Centro CSO-Community Service Center and the Benjamin Franklin Library.
Learn about the DACA application process and who is eligible to apply for a temporary work permit through the program. Copies of the DACA application will be provided. The library is located at 2200 E. First St., LA 90033. For more information, contact Carlos Montes at carlosmon@aol.com

Friday, October 5
1-5pm—El Centro de Ayuda Yard Sale Fundraiser for center programs.
Location: 3476 Whittier Blvd. LA, 90023. For more information, call (3423) 265-9228.

4-6pm—Make Mosterific Creations at Bell Gardens Veteran Park in the Arts & Crafts Room. Make a life size replica of your favorite monster to take home. Cost is $2; open to ages 7-14. Veterans Park: 6662 Loveland St., Bell Gardens 90201. For more information, email rveloz@bellgardens.org or call (562) 806-7654.

7pm—“Letters to Siqueiros,” Screening of Jose Trevino’s film America Tropical at the Pico House, located El Pueblo – Olvera Street. Free admission. For more information, including other programs related to the opening of the Siqueiros mural, visit amigosdesiqueiros.org.

Saturday, October 6
9am-3pm— Monterey Park Annual Artisans’ Faire and Harmony Car at Barnes Park.
Free general admission/ $25 car exhibitors. Event features food. live entertainment and local artisans selling handmade and unique gift items. Location: Barns Park Tennis Courts: 350 S. McPherrin Ave. in Monterey Park. For more information, call (626) 307-1388 or email Robert Aguirre at raguirre@montereypark.ca.gov.

9:30am-Noon—League of Women Voters Pasadena hosts “Are You In the Know?”, a free public forum to analyze California’s 11 November Ballot Measures at the Women’s City Club, 160 N. Oakland Ave., Pasadena. $20 Lunch follows. For more info or to RSVP, call (626) 798-0965, 10 am-1pm, Mon-Fri. Walk-ins welcome.

10am-4:30pm—NASA Mobile Planetarium Comes to Montebello Library. Enjoy an exciting science film and a view of the night sky inside the NASA Mobile Planetarium. Half-hour program, for students in second through twelfth grade repeats on the hour. Sign up in advance at the library or call (323) 722-6551. Library is located at 1550 W. Beverly Blvd., Montebello 90640.

2-11pm—14th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival on Colorado Blvd between Argus Dr. and Eagle Rock Blvd. Over 70 bands & DJ’s, 11 Unique Stages, Food Trucks, local Eagle Rock Businesses, Arts & Crafts and more! $10 suggested donation (kids under 14 free). Donate in advance through Ticketfly at one of our two levels for special festival gifts. For more information and a complete schedule of performers, go to cfaer.org.

Sunday, October 7
10am-6pm—Take in sights & great shopping at historic Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles
and stop in at Feria de los Moles, for free entertainment, a mole sauce competition. For more information, visit www.ci.la.us/elp or call (213) 485-8372.

Tuesday, October 9
12 Noon—Grand Opening of Newly Conserved David Alfaro Siqueiros’ Mural America Tropical
and new Interpretive Center in the Sepulveda House at El Pueblo-Olvera Street in downtown LA . Presented by the city of L.A and the Getty Conservation Institute. Last surviving public mural by Siqueiros in U.S. Free admission. Location: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument – Olvera Street entrance off Main Street. For more information, visit www.ci.la.us/elp or call (213) 485-8372.

Wednesday, October 10
5-6pm—Traditional Metal Embossing, and Popotillo Art Workshop at the East Los Angeles Library.
Learn about the traditional Central and South American art forms of Metal Embossing. Library is located at 4837 E. 3rd St., LA 90022. For more information, call (323) 264-0155.

Upcoming
Plan Now to Attend Bridge to Health Free Community Health, Wellness & Safety Fair at Hollenbeck Park on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 11am to 3pm.
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.

Shake, Rattle & Roll at the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council’s Earthquake & Disaster Survival Drill and Fair on Oct. 13. Learn what it takes for your neighborhood to survive a major earthquake disaster. 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.

Announcements
City of Commerce’s Annual Halloween Decorations Contest gets Underway.
Applications must be received at City Hall by 6pm on Oct. 22. For more information, call Liz Garcia at (323) 722-4805 ext. 2812.

Celebrando un Legado

October 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Mas de 60 años después de la muerte del infante de marina Eugene A. Obregón, quien fue condecorado con la Medalla de Honor por sacrificar su vida para salvar a un compañero en la guerra de Corea, él fue recordado por veteranos y la comunidad en su pueblo natal del Este de Los Ángeles que hace esfuerzos para revivir su legado.

Dan Zepeda, Jr. un veterano de Vietnam y el comandante de la Liga de Destacamento Marino Eugene A. Obregón, ayudo a organizar el evento que incluyó un discurso, una presentación por abanderados y un saludo militar con rifles—una tradición que se lleva a cabo en funerales. Después de la ceremonia en el Cementerio Calvario donde Obregón esta enterado, Zepeda dijo a EGP que la medalla que Obregón recibió tiene mucho significado para la comunidad Hispana en los EE.UU.

La ceremonia llevo a cabo el 29 de septiembre en el Cementerio Calvario donde Obregón esta enterado. En esta foto (frente y al centro) el Mayor Dominique Neal explica el significado de la Medalla de Honor a la audiencia. Foto de EGP por Nancy Martinez

“Si echas un vistazo a la historia de la Medalla de Honor, el porcentaje más alto de premiados por grupo étnico es de los Hispanos Latino,” dijo Zepeda.

A pesar de la discriminación que Obregón enfrentó durante su vida corta, el lema de los marinos “Semper Fidelis”—latín por siempre fiel—fue inculcado en él y es inculcado en cada marino durante su entrenamiento.

“Durante una época cuando ser hispano era algo perjudicial, nosotros [los hispanos] entrenamos junto a los anglos y fuimos a guerra junto a ellos y Eugene dio su vida por un muchacho anglo, y la raza étnica no era una cuestión en ese momento. Él era un compañero marino que estaba en necesidad y Eugene simplemente hizo lo que él pensó tenía que hacer.”

Zepeda dijo que la historia de Obregón se debe compartir especialmente durante el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, observada del 15 de septiembre hasta el 15 de octubre. El mes reconoce a los individuales Hispanos, así como la comunidad Hispana.

La conmemoración fue especialmente pertinente dado el número de jóvenes que siguen falleciendo en la guerra en Afganistán. Esta semana Associated Press reportó que el número de muertes militares estadounidenses en Afganistán ha llegado a 2.000 desde que la guerra empezó hace 11 años.

Pero hay mucha gente en la comunidad que esta consciente de los sacrificios que los hispanos, como Obregón, han hecho por su país.

“Hablamos con unas personas en el parque y no sabían por qué el parque lleva el nombre del marino Obregón,” dijo Saúl Audelo, un veterano de Vietnam quien es el sargento para el destacamento. “Pero los educamos.”

Zepeda dijo que la comunidad nunca debe olvidar el sacrificio de Obregón y que los niños deben ser educados acerca de su legado. Un joven como él siempre debe ser recordado, dijo Zepeda.

La ceremonia se llevó a cabo 62 años después de la muerte de Obregón, cuando el joven de 19 años uso su cuerpo para proteger su compañero de los disparos del enemigo. La ceremonia conmemoró la Medalla de Honor que Obregón recibió, el honor más alto en las fuerzas armadas estadounidense.

Dominique Neal, el comandante de la oficina de reclutamiento de Los Ángeles, dio su servicio a la marina en Afganistán y Irak. Él explicó el significado de la Medalla de Honor a la audiencia compuesto de veteranos y marinos.

“La Medalla de Honor es un premio de valor otorgada cuando una persona se levanta contra un enemigo potencialmente imbatible con probabilidades imposibles de ganar… e inspira grandeza,” dijo Neal. “Este acto heroico nos inspira a vivir como buenos y honestos Americanos, y algunos de nosotros como buenos y honestos marinos.”

José Verduzco, un marino veterano quien recibió un corazón púrpura después de ser herido en Vietnam en 1969 y cuyo hijo también es un marino, dijo a EGP que él asistió la ceremonia porque quiso expresar su respeto al marino caído.

“Yo he conocido a dos recipientes de la Medalla de Honor y estuve en la presencia de dos soldados en Vietnam que recibieron la Medalla de Honor después de su muerte,” dijo Verduzco. “Así que siempre es un tesoro estar en la presencia de otros marinos y especialmente en poder honrar a los que pagaron el precio máximo.”

El tío de Verduzco fue marino en la misma división que Obregón y dijo que aún hay muchas familias en el Este de Los Ángeles quienes, como el credo de los marinos dice, fielmente dan honor a los marinos.

Neal dijo que cualquier tiempo que hay un aniversario o una conmemoración para recipientes de la Medalla de Honor, los marinos, como él, asisten.

“Lo que hizo nos enseña el honor máximo que un miembro de las fuerzas armadas puede hacer, lo cual es sacrificarse a sí mismo y ponerse en peligro mortal,” Neal dijo. “La ceremonia es para asegurarnos que estos marinos, sus historias, quienes son como personas, quienes son como Americanos continúan a vivir… Y como Americanos tenemos la responsabilidad a asegurar que ellos son recordados y cuidados.”

Durante su discurso, Neal se dirigió a Virginia LaCarra, hermana de Obregón. “No te puedo regresar a tu hermano pero puedo darte un legado que los marinos siempre respetaremos,” dijo Niel.

LaCarra dijo a EGP que cuando su hermano es recordado, siente como si todavía estuviera aquí.

“Mi hermano nunca es olvidado, siempre esta en las mentes de las personas,” dijo LaCarra. “Yo sé que él estaría agradecido, como lo estamos nosotros.”

Zepeda inició el destacamento marino local que lleva el nombre de Obregón hace tres años después de pedirle a LaCarra permiso para usar el nombre de su hermano.

“Unas de las cosas que le prometí fue siempre honrar el nombre de su hermano y tenerlo en mente,” dijo Zepeda. “Le dije que tendríamos una ceremonia de este tipo para conmemorar sus esfuerzos, sus acciones y su Medalla de Honor, y hemos podido hacer eso.”

Nick Rosa, el comandante y organizador del evento, dijo que la asistencia fue más que lo que esperaba. “Esta es la mejor participación que hemos tenido,” él dijo. “Este es el tercer año que lo hemos hecho y nunca ha sido así.”

Marinos de la reserva en Pasadera, miembros de las fuerzas armadas con la Liga Americana y los partidarios en la comunidad asistieron. Según Rosa, “mucha gente no saben de los sacrificios que fueron hechos para su libertad.”

Verduzco dijo a EGP que a pesar de la falta de apoyo por la comunidad no asociada con las fuerzas armadas, personas si quieren asistir estas ceremonias.

“Por eso luchamos, sin importar si quieren estar aquí o no ellos pueden elegir. Pero cuando escuchen de esto van a decir yo pude haber estado allí,” dijo Verduzco.

Para aquellos que no asisten este tipo de ceremonia, el Comandante Neal espera que las personas expresen su agradecimiento de otra forma.

“Tomen tiempo para reflejar sobre el Día de los Veteranos y el Día de los Caídos… en vez de ir a una barbacoa, vallan a un cementerio nacional, un cementerio de veteranos, planten banderas, tomen un poco de tiempo para leer las lápidas”, dijo Neal. “Se lo debemos a estas personas a ser buenos americanos, ser buenas personas y tomar ventaja de las oportunidades que nuestros compañeros en las fuerzas armadas nos han permitido tener”.

Police Release Images of Suspected Boyle Heights Jewelry Theft Suspects

October 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles police Tuesday made public images of robbers who jerked gold chains off the necks of at least two people in Boyle Heights and who may be part of gang committing similar crimes.

A tall, skinny 20-something black man stole chain from around the neck of girl near Cesar Chavez Avenue and Fickett Street on Sept. 24 about 1 p.m., police said. The robber was estimated to be at least 6 feet 3 inches tall.

LAPD released a video showing the suspect, above, running to an awaiting Mercury Sable.

The next day, a woman reported a similar crime, but the robber was described as a 5-foot-5-inch black woman in her 20s, who fled in a car driven by a black man with a bald head, police said.

Anyone with more information about the crimes was asked to call Detective Miguel Barajas at (323) 342-8991.

Voter Registrations Spike With Online Access

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(CNS) – With the deadline to register to vote 19 days away, registration is proceeding at a record-setting pace, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk reported Wednesday.

Last month, about 150,000 Los Angeles County residents registered to vote in the Nov. 6 presidential election. That’s a 25 percent increase from September 2008, when 120,000 people registered to vote in the election that was ultimately won by Barack Obama.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan attributed last month’s spike in registrations to the new ability to register online.

“Online voter registration is fast, convenient and secure. In a short time, we have seen the impact of this expanded access,” Logan said.

There are still about 3 million county residents who are eligible, but not currently registered, to vote, according to the registrar’s office.

The deadline to register to cast a ballot on Nov. 6 is Oct. 22.

Los Angeles County residents can register online at www.lavote.net.

Protestan Contra el Gobernador por Vetar Leyes a Favor de los Hispanos

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Importantes activistas y miembros de sindicatos y organizaciones defensoras de los inmigrantes realizaron el martes una protesta contra el gobernador de California, Jerry Brown, por el veto que impuso a varias leyes que favorecían a trabajadores hispanos.

La protesta, realizada frente al edificio estatal Ronald Reagan, en el centro de Los Ángeles, manifestó el descontento de numerosos grupos de activistas por el veto impuesto a leyes como el Acta de Confianza, los derechos laborales de los trabajadores domésticos y dos regulaciones para hacer cumplir la protección de los trabajadores en el campo.

“Es inaceptable que los inmigrantes y los latinos en California vayan a continuar viviendo bajo el temor de ataques como la SB1070 de Arizona”, reclamó María Elena Durazo, secretaría y tesorera de la Federación del Trabajo del Condado de Los Ángeles, AFL-CIO.

Durazo destacó que el programa Comunidades Seguras en California -que hubiera sido neutralizado con el Acta de Confianza- ha llevado a que los organismos locales de control de la ley deporten más de 80.000 inmigrantes por ofensas menores y no violentas.

“El gobernador ha desilusionado a los inmigrantes vetando propuestas claves que hubieran fortalecido los derechos de los trabajadores y aumentado la seguridad pública en nuestras comunidades al mantener la confianza entre los inmigrantes y las autoridades”, señaló Angélica Salas, directora ejecutiva de la Coalición por los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes de Los Ángeles (CHIRLA, en inglés).

En la manifestación también se reclamó al gobernador que hubiera vetado el Acta de Derechos de los Trabajadores Domésticos, que proporcionaba protección básica a estos empleados, como pago de tiempo extra y descansos compensatorios.

Representantes de la Unión de Campesinos (UFW, en inglés) manifestaron su descontento y frustración por dos medidas que el gobernador no firmó, la AB 2346 y la AB 1081, que facilitaban la exigencia de condiciones de trabajo favorables para los empleados agrícolas.

Como parte de la protesta -en la que también participaron Pablo Alvarado, presidente de la Red Nacional de Jornaleros, Giev Kashkooli, de la UFW, y Carlos Amador, del Dream Team LA, entre otros- los organizadores llevaron una oveja para destacar que el gobernador ha puesto más cuidado en la protección de los animales que de los trabajadores campesinos.

“Es indignante que el abuso contra un animal de granja se tome más en serio que el abuso contra un trabajador agrícola. El gobernador Brown nos defraudó”, afirmó Durazo.

Por otra parte, dentro de las medidas firmadas por el gobernador Brown se encuentra una que ha tenido poca resonancia pero favorece la educación en dos idiomas que ofrece un centenar de escuelas de California.

La ley AB 1521, del asambleísta hispano demócrata de Salinas Luis Alejo, autoriza a las Escuelas de Inmersión Dual -que preparan a sus estudiantes simultáneamente en dos idiomas- para aplicar los exámenes de evaluación de los alumnos en su idioma primario.

La mayoría de las cerca de 100 de estas escuelas de California de enseñanza bilingüe podrán ahora evaluar en español el aprendizaje de los alumnos que no dominan el inglés.

“Tiene sentido utilizar una prueba en español para medir resultados en asignaturas que se enseñan en español”, recalcó Alejo en un comunicado, al celebrar la firma de la AB 1521, que entrará en vigor a partir del 1 de enero de 2013.

West Nile Claims Second Victim; Lincoln Heights Added to Areas Found

October 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – A second Los Angeles County resident died due to West Nile virus, health officials announced Tuesday, prompting heightened warnings for people to take precautions against mosquito bites.

Both victims were adults in their 80s who lived in the southeastern part of the county, according to the Department of Public Health.
Health officials noted that people over 50 years old and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk for developing severe symptoms, which may require hospitalization.

“While most people bitten by a mosquito are not exposed to West Nile virus, some individuals may become infected with this disease and may experience symptoms that can last for months, or even years, such as fatigue, malaise and depression,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county’s top health official. Symptoms can appear within three to 12 days after infection and severe symptoms of meningitis and encephalitis can lead to hospitalization.

To date, 54 human cases of West Nile virus illness have been reported in the county, and vector control districts have detected the virus in 170 dead birds, five squirrels and 196 mosquito pools. Samples were found throughout the county, Fielding said. The Lincoln Heights neighborhood is one of the latest areas where West Nile positive mosquitoes have been found.

Areas with high mosquito areas are being actively treated, but Fielding urged residents to report dead birds by calling (877) 968-2473 or at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov and stagnant pools to (626) 430-5200.

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