Montebello Bus Takes Dive Off Downtown L.A. Bridge onto 110 Freeway

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(EGPNews) -An empty, “broken down” Montebello transit bus rolled off the Fifth Street Bridge in downtown Los Angeles and landed on the 110 Freeway during the morning rush hour last Friday.

The crash occurred just before 8 a.m., and it was only “by luck” that the bus avoided hitting vehicles traveling along the freeway, Sgt. Mike Flynn of the LAPD Central Traffic Watch Division told EGP. No one was hurt.

Flynn said a supervisor from Montebello Bus Lines had been called out to help get the stalled bus going. While the supervisor worked on “outside control panel” of the bus, the breaks disengaged. On its way down, the bus hit a Montebello bus supervisor’s van and the bridge guardrail before plunging onto an off-ramp.

The bus driver had already jumped out of the bus before it went over the bridge. There were no passengers aboard.

Officials say it’s still too early to be sure what caused the bus to go over the bridge. “It is currently an open investigation. We are bringing in experts to assist us in conducting a thorough investigation. We’re grateful to report that no one was injured,” said Aurora Jackson, Montebello Bus Lines Director of Transportation. The city bus was a hybrid-electric vehicle purchased in 2009.

Undocumented Await News On Two-Year Reprieve

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Twenty-nine Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications have been completed nationwide and nearly 150,000 applications have been received and are being reviewed, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced.

While it took the government a few weeks to process the first cases, Attorney Alan Diamante says applicants should be patient; the entire process could take several months.

“The government is not entirely consistent,” Diamante, an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School, told EGP.  “Obviously they can pull [this] off in a matter of months, but it’s hard to say because of the volume they are dealing with.”

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Majorca was in Los Angeles for an event on Tuesday and took time to answer questions on the DACA process. Attorney Meredith Brown, a board member of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA), attended the event and asked Majorca how long applicants would have to wait for a response to their applications.

Majorca said it could take 4 to 6 months to come up with the final determinations, Brown told EGP.

Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Primeros Casos de Acción Diferida Son Aprobados, Miles Esperan Respuesta

USCIS has 82,361 cases still in the intake stage, 63,717 have fingerprinting appointments scheduled, while only 1,660 are ready to be reviewed for adjudication, according to information provided by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

21-year-old Areli Villareal mailed her DACA application on Sept. 4; by Sept. 10 she received confirmation it had been received. On Monday, the Cal State Dominguez Hills business administration student told EGP that she has received an appointment to be fingerprinted, part of the background check process.

“I’m excited and a little scared. Well, I’m scared that for some reason they might reject my application,” she said.

Villareal received guidance on her application at a DACA workshop presented by the Southeast Leadership Network (SLN). She said the application was easy, the hardest part was collecting the required documents that show she has lived in this country since she was 8 years old.

Villareal said she was more nervous about applying for DACA than she was applying to college. “I was a really good student in high school, so I figured I’m probably going to get accepted here and there,” Villareal said.

She explained that she knew if she was not accepted to a four-year university, she could always attend a community college. If her DACA application is turned down, she could resubmit the application, but it will cost another $500 and it won’t be a sure shot, she said.

Villareal is the president of the Cal State Dominguez Hills “Espiritu de Nuestro Futuro” (Spirit of Our Future) club, a group of AB540 eligible students. She says she knows about 10 or 20 peers who have applied or plan to apply, but so far she isn’t aware of anyone being approved.

Local school districts say said they have been inundated with requests for school transcripts, one of the requirements of the DACA application.

Last week, the Los Angeles Unified School District School Board approved a resolution submitted by Board Member Bennett Kayser to support DACA applicants by speeding up the turn around time for processing transcript requests. The school district currently has a backlog of 2,300 requests and it takes up to 45 days to provide the documents, according to Kayser’s website.

Undocumented immigrants who meet all the requirements of the newly created Obama Administration program, could be granted relief from deportation and receive work permits. In California they may also qualify for driver’s licenses.

Excitement over the prospect of receiving legal status, if only temporarily, could leave some potential candidates vulnerable to unscrupulous predators. Both Diamante and Brown urged applicants to be wary of possible scams, unqualified document preparers, or unscrupulous lawyers who are trying to capitalize on this opportunity. Diamante suggests applicants also consider getting a second opinion to ensure that they do meet all the requirements.

“Our concern is the mad rush… there’s no hurry to file these things, it’s more important that they file them correctly. There’s no deadline to apply, so they should make sure they do it right,” he said.

Brown said applicants shouldn’t pay a lawyer more than $500 for help with their applications. She also said numerous non-profits, like CHIRLA, can help applicants at a lower cost.

For more information on DACA visit http://www.uscis.gov/

Bank Boosts Education of Biz Connected Students

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sons and daughters of Hispanic business owners and high school participants of an intensive entrepreneurial training program could be the recipients of a new college scholarship to help them pay for the education they need to be a success in their careers.

Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Anuncian Beca para Hijos de Empresarios Hispanos

In downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) and Wells Fargo announced that they have partnered to create a first-time scholarship program that reinforces their commitment to higher education and entrepreneurship.

Wells Fargo has donated $100,000 in scholarship funds to the HSF to support college-bound students who are dependents of USHCC members or past participants in BizFest, an intensive entrepreneurial training program for Hispanic high school students.

Left to right: HSF President and CEO Frank Alvarez, Wells Fargo Philanthropy Executive Vice President Tim Hanlon, USHCC Chairman Nina V. Vaca and USHCC President and CEO Javier Palomarez. (EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

The scholarship is poised to help students like 17-year-old Aranza Garza, a participant in the USHCC BizFest program who dreams of someday having a neurology firm.

Garza, a student at J. Economedes High School in Texas, is applying to colleges and plans to major in pre-med and business administration.

Coming from a low-income, immigrant family, Garza says she’s “really excited” about the scholarship opportunity. Garza was in Los Angeles on Tuesday for the USHCC 33rd Annual Convention where the new scholarship program was announced.

Wells Fargo’s $100,000 donation will provide 40 scholarships to students like Garza.

Applications for the new scholarship became available yesterday, Sept. 19; the deadline to apply is Dec. 15.

Candidates must be of Hispanic heritage, be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, have a minimum 3.0 grade point average, be a relative of a USHCC member, among other requirements.

President and CEO of USHCC Javier Palomarez called Wells Fargo’s donation “truly visionary.”

“Education is a critical and imperative business issue for this country, if we don’t fix education, our economy falls apart, it’s that simple,” he said.

“Education is the first step in establishing a path to future empowerment – today’s college students are tomorrow’s community leaders, corporate executives and small business owners,” said Palomarez. “The State of Small Business Poll results released by the USHCC today highlight 72 percent of Hispanic business owners want to grow a business and create a legacy. The surest path to achieving this is ensuring our children go to college.”

A recent Pew Hispanic report indicates that for the first time, 18- to 24-year-old Hispanics enrolled in college exceeded 2 million and their college enrollments have reached a record 16.5 percent.

Yet, Latinos are amongst the lowest performing students in public schools.

“We know that Latinos are one in every four public school children in this country… the US cannot go to number one [in academics] in this world until the Latino population takes our rightful place as the next group to step forward in the latter,” said HSF CEO Frank Alvarez. “It’s not just a Hispanic community issue, it’s an American issue.”

Alvarez said the relationship between Wells Fargo, the USHCC and HSF exemplifies how corporations can be a catalyst for growth while supporting what matters most to the community.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with organizations like Wells Fargo and the USHCC that are dedicated to enriching the lives of Hispanic students,” he said.

Tim Hanlon, head of Philanthropy for Wells Fargo, said there is no better way Wells Fargo can spend this money and he believes this will not be a one-time donation.

“We want the US economy to turn around and small business is one of the big drivers there, and if the only thing the scholarship does is take the financial burden off a small business owner, off an entrepreneur, as they try to send their child to school, than that’s what we need to do,” he told EGP.

USHCC represents nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. and also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers and business associations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

For more information and to apply for the scholarship visit www.HSF.net

For more information on USHCC visit www.ushcc.com

Community Calendar: September 20, 2012 to September 26, 2012

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

East L.A. Library Hosts Free Family Flamenco Dance Program on Oct. 1 at 6pm. Spanish classical and flamenco dancer Susana Elena will perform in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Program educates and entertains children four and older and their families. Susana presents a variety of different dances, provides short descriptions of them, and encourages audience interaction. During the course of the program, children learn how to do palmas (handclaps to rhythm), flamenco arm and hand movements, and jaleos (words of encouragement such as Bravo, Ole’). At show’s end they are invited onstage to join in a rumba flamenca danced with scarves. An introductory castanet lesson will be offered to those interested afterward. Susana Elena has studied flamenco in Jerez de la Frontera and Sevilla, Spain. She is the recipient of a certificate from the L.A. County Arts Commission that qualifies her to teach and perform standards-based dance arts in the classroom. The library is located at 4837 E. 3rd Street, L.A. 90022. For more information, call (323) 264-0155.

Friday, Sept. 21
1pm—Join Sup. Zev Yaroslavky for a Live Internet Chat on “Carmageddon II,”
the I-405 Closure on Sept. 29-30, who will collect suggestions, answer general questions about the massive $1 billion I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project and explain what will happen during the 53-hour closure. Share your suggestions on things to do; best ways to avoid the closure area. For more information on the I-405 project go to metro.net/I-405, twitter.com_I-405 or facebook.com/405project. To chat live go to metro.net between noon and 1 p.m. Friday, or send advance questions to livechat@metro.net.

3-6pm—Maywood Lions Club Peace Walk & Resource Fair in celebration of the United Nation’s International Day of Peace recognizing those who have worked to end conflict and promote peace. The International Day of Peace is also a day of ceasefire – personal or political. Location: River Front Park, 6400 Alama, Maywood 90270. Registration 3-4pm; Walk 4-5pm; Resource Fair 5 to 6pm. Sponsorships available; “free” participants must bring a can of food or pair of used eyeglasses. For more information, contact Amparo Mendoza at (323) 712-3392.

Saturday, September 22
10am—The Arroyo Seco Library in Highland Park will hold a Student Smart: PSAT Practice Test.
Princeton Review will administer the full-length test. The library is located at 6145 N. Figueroa St., L.A. (Highland Park) 90042. To reserve your place please sign up at the reference desk or call (323) 255-0537.

2pm—The Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library will screen the Ralph Lazo Story, a 30-minute film based on the true story of a 16-year-old, Mexican-Irish American high school student from LA who stood by his Japanese American friends when they were sent to internment camps during World War II. Ralph Lazo voluntarily lived at the Manzanar internment camp as the only non-Japanese (non-spouse), was drafted from the camp, and in later years continued to support his Japanese American friends in the fight for redress and reparations. The library is located at 318 S. Ramona Ave. in Monterey Park. For more information about the free program call (626) 307-1368.

Monday, Sept. 24
1pm— Wristbands Distribution Today Only for Free Care Harbor LA Clinic Sept. 27-30 at the LA Sports Arena.
Medical, dental and vision provided. Wristbands are your ticket to the clinic, and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals choose the clinic day they want and get a wristband for that day. Wristbands are not removable without destroying them, so only the person who receives the wristband will be admitted. Wristbands will be given to caregiver or parent of young children, who must accompany the patient to the clinic. Only the patient will receive services. For more information, go to careharbor.org .

Tuesday, Sept. 25
6-8pm—Don Bosco Technical Institute (Bosco Tech) Hosts College Fair,
free to all high school students and their parents in the school’s Tech Hall. The fair will feature representatives from more than 70 universities and colleges including UC Berkeley, Brown University and Columbia University. Parking provided. For more information, call (626) 940-2000. Bosco Tech is located at 1151 San Gabriel Blvd. in Rosemead.

Wednesday, September 26
6:30pm—November Ballot Measures will be the topic of the East Los Angeles-Montebello Business and Professional Women (BPW) Club
meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel Restaurant, 888 Montebello Blvd., Rosemead. Networking starts at 6:30pm; dinner at 7pm. The program and dinner are open to all interested people. For more information, contact Linda Wilson at (626) 307-5650 or e-mail to lindalwilson@juno.com.

Upcoming
Conservation of Siqueiros América Tropical Public Programs Get Underway Sept. 27 with Gregorio Luke’s “Under the Stars,”
an outdoor multimedia show that looks at the life and work of Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. The program is one of several free public events being presented by The Getty Conservation Institute, in partnership with the City of LA, and with the participation of Amigos de Siqueiros, to celebrate the conservation of Siqueiros’ mural América Tropical and the opening of the América Tropical Interpretive Center (ATIC) located at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. The presentation will take place at Father Serra Park and start at 7 p.m.; No reservations required. Bring a blanket/chair. El Pueblo is located on the corner of Cesar Chavez Avenue and Alameda Street, across the street from Union Station: 125 Paseo de la Plaza, LA 90012. Take Metro to Union Station.

The nonprofit Montebello Lions Club will host a Food Truck Festival on Sept. 29 at the Montebello Senior Center. The event is from 4 to 9pm & includes entertainment and delicious food. The Montebello Senior Center is located at 115 S. Taylor Ave. Montebello. Trucks will be located in back of the Center. For more information, contact Chris Ohrmund at (909) 598-0554 or ohrmu@aol.com.

Attend a free “family law “ session Sept. 29 at the Benjamin Franklin Library in East Los Angeles. A family lawyer will share information on: Divorce, Custody and Visitation Rights, Child Support, and Domestic Violence. The session will take place from 2 to 3:30pm. The library is located at 2200 East 1st St. L.A 90033. For more information, call (323) 263-6901.

On Oct. 6, the League of Women Voters Pasadena host “Are You In the Know?”, a free public forum to analyze California’s 11 November Ballot Measures. Event will include a lively discussion and debate. Forum will be held from 9:30am to noon at the Women’s City Club, 160 N. Oakland Ave., Pasadena. Lunch will follow and costs $20, including tax, tip and parking. Information and reservations are available by calling (626) 798-0965, 10 am-1pm, Mon-Fri. Walk-ins welcome; no charge for forum.

14th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival will be held on Oct. 6, 2-11pm 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 http://cfaer.org.

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. 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. Hollenbeck Park is located at 415 S. St. Louis St. LA 90033.

LADWP Approves Rate Hike

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

An increase in electric rates for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers is a bit closer to reality.

The Los Angeles Board of Water And Power Commissioners last week approved a two-year rate hike that would increase the DWP’s system average rate by 11.1 percent, or 1.4 cents per kilowatt-hour, over two years.

Residential customers who use less than 500 kilowatt hours per month would see an increase of 5.5 percent over two years and pay $3.65 more on the current average monthly electric bill of $65.79 in the second year of the increase.

The rate increase would allow the DWP to comply with legal mandates for reduced energy consumption, increased renewable energy use and the elimination of ocean water use at coastal power plants, according to a department statement.

It would also facilitate infrastructure improvements and an expansion of efficiency incentives, according to the department.

“It is never easy to raise our customers’ rates, but the department has made the case that these investments are needed to comply with legal mandates and to invest in replacing aging infrastructure that is essential to maintaining reliable service to our customers,’’ said board President Thomas Sayles.

The rate increase requires the approval of the Los Angeles City Council.

Free Clinic Coming Next Week to Sports Arena

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Thousands of uninsured, underinsured and medically underserved people are expected to attend a massive free health care clinic Sept. 27-30 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

Medical, dental and vision care will be given to those lucky enough to gain entry to the Care Harbor LA clinic where hundreds of doctors, dentists, optometrists, cardiologists nurses and other health care professionals will volunteer their services. Services include immunizations, mammograms and Pap smears. Extensive patient education and counseling will promote wellness, prevention and self-care among our most vulnerable population.

Care Harbor LA will match patients needing follow-up care with local clinics and healthcare centers that have volunteered to accept referrals and provide a medical home to the patient.

A pre-issued wristband is required to get into the clinic. The wristbands will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis for one day only on Monday Sept. 24 at the Sports Arena starting at 1 p.m. Parking lots will open at 7 a.m. The Sports Arena is located at 3939 S. Figueroa St, L.A., CA 90037. For more information, go to careharbor.org

Mount Washington-area Burned Body Was Shot

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – A man who apparently had been shot was found dead Sept. 13 in a burning SUV in the Mount Washington area of Los Angeles, police said.

Firefighters made the grisly discovery just before 2 a.m. when extinguishing the fire in the 4800 block of Marmion Way, according to Sgt. Wayne Guillary of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Northeast Station.

The body was found in the driver’s seat, and the victim apparently had been shot, LAPD spokesman Richard French said. Authorities withheld his name, pending notification of his relatives.

About 20 minutes before the fire was reported, gunshots had been heard in the area, but it was unclear if they were related to the death, French said. No arrests were reported.

LAPD Detective Jose Carrillo told ABC7 that removing the body was made difficult because of its position inside the SUV and because of the extensive fire damage to the vehicle.

“All we know is that we believe it is definitely a male,” Carrillo said. “Nationality, race, or age is unknown.”

Channel 7 reported that the vehicle was registered to a person who lived in the area. Anyone with information on the crime was urged to call (877) LAPD-247.

Protests Continue Against Proposed Metro Development

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

About 200 protesters associated with the Bus Riders Union, Union de Vecinos, East Los Angeles Community Corporation (ELACC) and other groups, staged a protest last week at Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles to call for Metro to increase bus line services in working class communities, the defeat of Measure J on the November ballot, and to call for Metro to halt a proposed development in Boyle Heights.

Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Protestan Contra Metro

For one group, the protest was a follow-up to the “Take Back Boyle Heights” town hall meeting put on late last month by the East Los Angeles Community Corporation, ELACC, which has undertaken a campaign to influence developments in the low-income and working class community.

Throughout the march, proposed Metro developments along the Eastside Gold Line came under fire by protesters who said they want a greater say in those developments. Speakers for the groups said too many small businesses and residents were displaced by the Gold Line transportation project, and decried the fact that many of the plots of land where those businesses and homes once stood are still vacant.

Protesters marched from Olvera Street to Metro Headquarters and then to the Metro Gold Line Station at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights. EGP Photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo

One Metro-owned plot in Boyle Heights has in particular drawn the attention of residents and activists, who say they are against using the Soto Street and Cesar Chavez location for a mixed-use development that could feature a CVS Pharmacy.

We want a grocery store, not another drug store, said protesters, who also called on Metro to restore affordable housing lost during the building of the Gold Line Extension.

Responding to those complaints, Metro told EGP that 1,222 affordable housing units are either planned, being built or have been completed in transit oriented developments.

In addition, 52 affordable units lost during construction of the Eastside Gold Line Extension will be replaced at a transit-oriented development at First and Lorena streets that will break ground next year, according to Metro’s blog, “The Source.”

ELACC is pushing for Metro to establish a resident advisory committee made up of low-income and transit dependent stakeholders.

Protesters also said that low-income residents have been harmed by cuts of some Metro bus lines, and called for increasing the number of buses servicing those communities. Calling it “irresponsible,” protesters also called for the defeat of Measure J — a Metro-backed November ballot proposal to extend the County’s Measure R half-cent sales tax to pay for transportation projects.

Man Jumps off First Street Bridge, Gets Hit by Train

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – An investigation is underway into the apparent suicide of a man who jumped from a bridge linking downtown Los Angeles with Boyle Heights who was then struck by an Amtrak train.

The man was hit at 11:10 p.m. on Sept. 13 by the 595 Pacific Surfliner operating between San Diego and Los Angeles, said Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds. The train hit him beneath the First Street bridge, said Lt. Marc Lucio of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau.

The still unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene.

None of the train’s 30 passengers or crewmembers were injured, according to Leeds.

Injured L.A. Chief Returns to Work

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(CNS) – Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck returned to work Monday after breaking his collarbone in a motocross accident.

Police said the accident occurred last Thursday, but no other details were released.

Beck, 59, is a motocross veteran who specializes in riding vintage motorcycles, and has competed in various categories of motocross and off-road racing since the 1970s.

“Broken collarbones are the occasional price you pay for racing motocross,’’ Beck told the Los Angeles Times.

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