A Message from EGP: Thanks for the Memories

November 22, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

From the EGP family to all of you, our wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Though it may not always seem like it, like most of you we have much for which we should be thankful.

As owners and staff of Los Angeles County’s only all Latino- and woman-owned chain of free community newspapers, it has been our good fortune to bring you news for more than 39 years.

Together with you our readers, we have rejoiced and been outraged at the goings on in the cities and neighborhoods that we call home. We have shared the good, bad, funny and the inconceivable.

Recently we announced that the Sanchez family has decided to sell the newspaper group and to pass the torch on to new, more energetic and hopefully as passionate keepers of this sacred trust.

As that time gets closer, we are more strongly aware of just how thankful we are to have had this journey and amazing opportunity to be a part of this community.

This time of year is especially brimming with fond memories of our work on behalf of those in our communities who struggle every day to make ends meet and share in the joy that most of us take for granted.

We are grateful that through the EGP Foundation’s “Letter to Santa” program (one of the first of its kind), over 55,000 children and their families had a more enjoyable Christmas.

We have taken our endorsements of candidates for office and issues very seriously and do our best to explain to the community why we take certain positions, popular or not.

For nearly four decades, EGP has covered issues of importance to our readers. Whether it was the building of a prison or power plant in your backyard, your schools not performing well, heavy-handed police tactics, inequities in Metro service, the building of freeways in already heavily burdened neighborhoods or Exide contaminating your homes, schools, parks and the air you breath with toxic chemicals, we have been at your side.

In our early days, we were the first to publish a Sheriff Department sketch of Richard Ramirez, who would later come to be known as the “Night Stalker.”

We acquainted you with the good and important work of the Mothers of East LA and Father Greg Boyle’s efforts to end gang violence as he founded Homeboy Industries.

With former county supervisor Gloria Molina, we called for a new larger LA County hospital and for a better Gold Line plan. We didn’t always win the debate, but we never stopped trying.

We brought you news about developments, housing issues, the homeless, and crime.

That’s why this Thanksgiving, as we do every year, we ask each of you to take a moment to count your blessings, than look to around and ask what you can do to share your bounty with those not as fortunate.

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.


8 Tips to Avoid Holiday Food Stress

November 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

When an average slice of pumpkin pie and scoop of vanilla ice cream can contain 46 grams of sugar – nearly twice the recommended daily added sugar intake of 25 grams for women and well above the recommendation of 36 grams for men– the holidays can be hazardous for anyone watching their waistlines.

With so much good food around during the holidays, you need a plan to enjoy without over eating. (EGP photo)

With so much good food around during the holidays, you need a plan to enjoy without over eating. (EGP photo)

Sweets are never more available and tempting than during the holiday season, but with some healthy swaps and strategies, Shreela Sharma, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental at UTHealth School of Public Health, says it’s easy to eat healthier this holiday season.

–When preparing desserts, substitute whole-wheat flour instead of regular flour in a recipe to make it healthier, or use ½ regular and ½ whole-wheat if you want to ease into it.

–Mashed bananas and applesauce make great substitutions for fat in a recipe. Natural sweeteners such as shredded carrots, zucchini or beets can also be incorporated into recipes so you won’t need to use as much sugar.

–Prepare small desserts such as mini-cheesecakes or mini-cupcakes to help with portion control.

–Always have some berries as a side with your dessert – they’re naturally filling and you won’t be as tempted to eat as much dessert.

–Don’t starve yourself or skip a meal in anticipation of a holiday party feast later in the day. Sharma says it’s counterintuitive to how the body works. Your body is genetically programmed to pack on weight and will enter starvation mode. It will hold on to every calorie and you’re going to end up packing on more weight. It’s better to keep to your usual eating schedule – stay away from yo-yo dieting.

Control temptation by switching out large pies and sweets for bite-sized portions. (EGP photo)

Control temptation by switching out large pies and sweets for bite-sized portions. (EGP photo)

–To prevent overeating, make sure you eat something filling before going to a party so you don’t arrive with an empty stomach. Sharma suggests a slice of whole-grain toast with almond or peanut butter.

–If you have a special dietary restriction or a health condition that prohibits you from eating certain foods, let the host of your party know ahead of time. Generally, they will accommodate you because they want you to have a good time. If not, you ate that toast ahead of time, right?

–Holidays can be a stressful time, which can result in eating more food. Instead, try to deal with stress by going for a walk each day or do something that helps manage your stress like yoga or meditation.

The most important thing, Sharma stresses, is to eat what you want in moderation. She advises that if you have a craving, you should fulfill it because the craving only gets worse.

“Denying ourselves food groups never works,” said Sharma, who is also a faculty member in the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the School of Public Health. “Food is not the enemy – it’s such an important part of who we are and our social lives. It’s portioning that’s the big trick.”

If you remember to eat in moderation, then you can enjoy anything from an appetizer to your favorite holiday dessert, guilt-free.

Ruben Salazar Park Keeps Thanksgiving Tradition Alive

November 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Hundreds of families received a free traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings Saturday at the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner and Celebration at Salazar Park in unincorporated East Los Angeles. Organized by members of clubs and the Senior Citizen program at the park, the event was free and open to the public. Sup. Hilda Solis, (pictured center), was among the dozens of volunteers working the event.

(Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation)

(Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation)

100 Turkeys Donated Through Operation Gobble

November 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Over a dozen local organizations and families in need received Thanksgiving turkeys last week in Huntington Park during Golden State Water Company’s annual Operation Gobble.

The company donated 100 turkeys and an anonymous donor donated 137 gift certificates for turkeys. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) was at the event at the Oldtimers Foundation, where she greeted local organizations receiving donations.

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (center) greets a representative from Soledad Enrichment Action, which received donated turkeys as part of Operation Gobble. (Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard)

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (center) greets a representative from Soledad Enrichment Action, which received donated turkeys as part of Operation Gobble. (Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard)

Turkey recipients included A Place Called Home, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Eastmont Community Center, East Los Angeles Community Service Center, Edison Middle School, Gage Middle School, Garfield High School’s University Prep Program, Life After Uncivil Ruthless Acts, Elizabeth Learning Center, Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles, Gage Middle School, Oldtimers Foundation, Our Lady of Victory Parish, Soledad Enrichment Action, and Volunteers of East Los Angeles.


Show Your Thanks By Lending a Hand

November 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

If there is one reason to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, it’s that we live in America and are able to celebrate the holiday in any way we want.

Or not celebrate at all if that’s your choice.

When we see the great suffering of refugees and migrants across the world trying desperately to escape their homeland, despite the uncertainty of what awaits them outside their borders, we should all be reminded of the need to be more compassionate towards our fellow human beings.

While most of us may not feel capable of helping the human wave of suffering of migrants and refugees around the world, we certainly have the ability to extend a helping hand to the homeless and needy in our own communities.

We all have the power to ease some of their suffering and hunger, and not just on Thanksgiving, but throughout the year.

There are a great number of charitable organizations and churches helping in this important humanitarian cause and we believe a small contribution to them would be gratefully accepted.

No mater your circumstances, the holidays can be a stressful time. We want to urge all our readers to practice safety and patience with others during the holiday, and to not drink and drive.

Academia Avance Students Thankful for Simple Things

November 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The average student is often unaffected by events that go on around the world.

High school seniors in particular are more worried about getting their college applications processed in time or their demanding workload than what’s happening outside their immediate circle.

It’s no different for students at Academia Avance, a small charter school located in a church basement in Highland Park with about 500 middle and high school students.

Despite growing concern around the world over tragedies that have happened this year, including the recent terrorist attack in Paris France, many students are more concerned with their everyday routine, family, and school.

Academia Avance is not only a school but a community supporting students that want a future for themselves. Despite its small size and unusual location, the school offers a variety of opportunities for students to take part in, like an internship program for seniors who have passed the A-G requirements and trips to Los Angeles area colleges so students can see what their options are so they won’t just stick to one small opportunity.

Students say they feel welcomed when walking in the halls to class because they know that one day they will get to wear their cap and gown before heading to a four-year college.

Many of Academia Avance’s students struggle everyday because they lack resources and face financial difficulties.

Seniors in the Class of 2016 especially feel the pinch of higher expenses thanks to all the money required for their senior activities.

Last week, EGP asked some Academia Avance students to take a moment to reflect on what they will be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

It seems most worries will be forgotten for the day as the students spend time with their families and loved ones. From the responses, it appears the senior class is able to look past the stresses from around the world and are instead thankful for the simple things often taken for granted, families and friends or just the excitement of long-awaited videogame coming out.

Here’s what some Advance Academia seniors and the school’s principal had to say:

Cindy Baez MB MG_2277

“I’m thankful for my health and having great friends that support me.”  Senior Cindy Baez

Principal Angelica Gil MB IMG_2294

“I’m thankful for being able to spend time with family after my father passed away. I’m happy that I get to celebrate the memory of my father with the rest of my family.”  Principal Angelica Gil

Rodolfo Paz (rt) Cesar Birrueta (lt)IMAG0612 Gisela

“ I am thankful for my friends, health, that I get an opportunity to be in school, and that my family supports me through everything.” Senior Rodolfo Paz

“I am thankful for Fallout 4 (video game) because it is a wonderful game!”  Senior Cesar Birrueta

Valeria Salinas MB IMG_2292

“I’m thankful for having great friends and family who are supportive, and I’m thankful for having a house and good health.”  Senior Valeria Salinas

Luis Marquez MB MG_2293

“I’m thankful for having a good life with a great family that fill my life with happiness.” Senior Luis Marquez

Eric Salazar GJ IMAG0614

“ I am thankful for my family, friends, and video games!” Senior Eric Salazar

Martin Baeza and Gisela Jimenez are seniors at Academia Avance High School in Highland Park. The students are interning at Eastern Group Publications as part of the school’s “Work Educational Experience Project.”


Thanksgiving Comes Early to Troops at LAX

November 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Active military men and women waiting last week to board planes headed to their deployment were treated to an early Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of the Bob Hope USO and People’s Concert’s 10th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Troops.

“This was a nice surprise,” said one Marine as he enjoyed his meal.

Pictured: Fred Zermeno of the People’s Concert, Galaxy players Koby Jones, Dan Gardan, Rafael Garcia, the Galaxy Mascot and Pamela Taylor of the Hilton Hotel pose for a photo with a couple of Marines (center) during the 10th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Troops Tuesday at the Bob Hope USO-LAX. (Photo by Fred Zermeno)

Pictured: Fred Zermeno of the People’s Concert, Galaxy players Koby Jones, Dan Gardan, Rafael Garcia, the Galaxy Mascot and Pamela Taylor of the Hilton Hotel pose for a photo with a couple of Marines (center) during the 10th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Troops Tuesday at the Bob Hope USO-LAX. (Photo by Fred Zermeno)

Fred Zermeno of the People’s Concert has been producing the event for 10 years and says the goal of the event is “to help raise the spirits of America’s troops during the holidays.” The Hilton Hotel at LAX is the main sponsor.

Held at the Bob Hope USO-LAX, the dinner is a private event for military personal and guests of the USO. On Tuesday, 400 Marines were treated to a traditional meal, entertainment and visits with Kings and Galaxy girls and other athletes and celebrities who show up each year to help serve the meals provided with the assistance from the main sponsor, Hilton Hotel at LAX.


Pumpkin: Nature’s Superstar, Not Just During Holidays

November 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

With the holidays approaching, the humble pumpkin has taken its rightful place center stage. One of the most versatile of fruits, almost every part of the pumpkin is edible – flowers, leaves, meat, seeds and oil – and virtually all offer health benefits.

“Although we usually think of pumpkin only around the holidays, the many health benefits associated with it make it worth including in your diet year-round,” says Erin Morse, a registered dietitian and the chief clinical dietitian at UCLA Health.

Low in calories and high in fiber, pumpkin offers numerous health benefits, ranging from weight loss to sun protection to improved heart health, better vision and more.

Common Cold Fighter– Although important year-round, immunity-boosters are especially vital during cold and flu season. “Pumpkin is chock full of nutrients – vitamins C and A, potassium and iron – that can help boost your immunity and keep you healthy,” says Morse.

Sharper Focus – Loaded with vitamin A, pumpkin can help keep your eyesight sharp – a one-cup serving contains about 200 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Pumpkin also contains antioxidants that may help prevent cataracts and lower your risk for macular degeneration.

Natural Cancer Fighter – According to the National Institutes of Health, food sources that are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants may help fend off certain types of cancer. Pumpkin fits the mold.

Morse notes that studies have shown that people who eat a diet rich in beta-carotene may have a reduced risk of breast and prostate cancer. They also may enjoy some protection against harmful UV rays,” “The key word is diet,” she adds. “Taking beta-carotene supplements don’t appear to provide the same cancer-fighting benefits.”

Better Than Bananas– While bananas are often considered nature’s energy bar, the truth is that a cup of cooked pumpkin has 505 milligrams of potassium compared to a banana’s 422. Among other things, potassium is important for heart health and for restoring electrolytes after hard workouts. It can also play a role in treating high blood pressure and reducing stroke risk. Morse cautions, though, that high potassium levels may not be good for those with kidney problems.

Help for Holiday Pounds – Surprisingly, eating pumpkin puree can aid with weight loss. With 8 grams of fiber per canned cup, pumpkin has more fiber than two slices of whole-grain bread.

“Foods that are high in fiber slow your digestion and make you feel full longer,” says Morse. “Plus, canned pumpkin is about 90 percent water, so it also helps keep you hydrated – important in any weight-loss program.”

Pumpkin Super Seeds—Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds are high in protein and packed with minerals. Their high magnesium levels help with your heart, blood vessels and proper bowel function. Morse suggests adding them to oatmeal, granola or healthy sautéed veggies, scattering them on top of mixed green salads or grinding them up to add to pesto.

Although pumpkin is definitely one of nature’s superstars, it’s important to be sure you’re getting the real thing, says Morse. When selecting canned pumpkin, read the ingredients and aim for no preservatives, sugar or additives. Look for labels that state ‘100 percent pumpkin,’ and when possible, choose organic. Be sure you’re getting plain pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin-pie filling – the cans often look alike.

As for those pumpkin-flavored drinks that are so popular at this time of year? “I would pass on them,” says Morse. “They don’t carry the same health benefits, and they’re loaded with sugar, fat and calories.”

She suggests adding pumpkin-pie spice to your coffee instead.


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