Kenneth Jay Walsh

May 12, 1962 - June 10, 2017

Kenneth Jay (KJ) Walsh passed away Saturday, June 10th, 2017 at his home in Downey, CA. KJ was born on May 12, 1962 in Santa Monica, CA to Jerry Walsh and Janet (Hammeras) Walsh.

KJ enjoyed sharing his knowledge, and worked for over 20 years as a school teacher and administrator for LAUSD, where he developed teacher programs for science classes. He connected easily with all types of people, but especially children and animals and he always had numerous pets around him. After retiring from LAUSD he started his own business as a dog trainer. He enjoyed performing magic tricks, camping and fishing, cooking and playing pool.

KJ is survived by his wife, Gemma Walsh, his mother, Janet Walsh, his two brothers, Vince Brooks (Heidi) and Sean Walsh (Diane), and his sister, Cindy Flynn (Bruce) as well as his uncle and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Downey on Saturday, June 24th at 2:00 pm.

Downey High water polo train hard and early for next season

DOWNEY – The Downey High School boys and girls water polo teams are busy preparing for next season. 

Practices are taking place Tuesday-Thursday from 6- 8:30 a.m. at the Downey Aquatics Center on the campus of Downey High School. Each morning 20-plus boys and 20-plus girls are in the pool practicing. Several students leave the pool at 7:30 a.m. because they are enrolled in summer school while other student-athletes remain practicing until 8:30 a.m.

Head coach Uriel Villa is now coaching both teams. Some names to watch out for next season for the boys are Anthony Torres, Andrew Cabrera, Nathan Lopez, Brian Repreza and Jerry Aquinada. All players have experience and skill and are looking forward to getting better. 

Coach Villa, his staff and players are all looking forward to next season. Cerritos and cross-town rival Warren will be the teams to beat in league play.  

■ The Downey High School boys’ volleyball team made a strong run in the C.I.F. Division 4 playoffs before falling to La Palma Kennedy in five sets at Cerritos College. 

As a result of Downey’s strong finish, two Vikings were selected to the All-C.I.F. Team. Sam Carcamo and Matt Brito earned those honors. 

Coach McCarthy and his staff are extremely proud of Sam and Matt and what they accomplished this season. The two All-C.I.F. players have set the bar high at Downey and the goal for next season is “get the ring in 2018.”

■ The Downey High School volleyball program will be offering several camps this summer for student-athletes of all ages. There will be four high school camps, one middle school camp and one elementary camp. 

The first high school camp will take place July 10-12 and will be for girls only. The second high school camp will be from July 17-19 and will be for boys and girls. The third high school camp will be from July 24-26 and will be for girls only. The last high school camp will be from July 31-August 1 and will be for girls only. 

Camps will take place Monday-Wednesday and will be from 8- 10 a.m. in the gymnasium at Downey High School. The high school camp for boys will cost $60.

The middle school camp will be for student-athletes entering grades 6-8. It will be from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Camp will be Monday-Wednesday and the cost will be $60. The elementary school camp will be for girls entering grades 3-5 and will also be from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. 
Camp will be Monday-Wednesday and the cost will also be $60.

The girls summer league for varsity players will be Tuesday and Thursday and will take place July 11, 13, 18, 20, 25 and 27. The junior varsity dates will be Mondays and Wednesdays and will take place July 10, 12, 17, 19, 24 and 26. The cost for high school girls will be $190 and includes weight training in June and July, summer league, weekend travel tournaments and all camp dates.

Walk-ins are accepted if space is available. Special features to the camp include a t-shirt, age/group training, skill development and quality coaching. Coach McCarthy can be contacted at or or by cell at (559) 259-4561. Coach McCarthy hopes to see you on the volleyball court this summer.   

■ The Warren High School boys’ cross country team is busy preparing for the start of next season. The high school cross-country season starts right as school starts in mid-late August. 
Workouts are and will be taking place in June, July and August and the cost is $90. 

Head coach Ramon Miranda and assistant coaches Eddie Rodriguez and Faustino Diaz are busy preparing to make a run at another S.G.V.L. title and beyond. In July, Warren’s top 15 runners will be invited to run and train in the altitude at the Lake Tahoe Camp. In early August, 30 runners will be invited to run and train at the Desert Camp Training. 

This is an exciting time for runners because all the sacrifice and hard work thus far will be put on display as only the top seven runners will compete in varsity competitions.

The goal of the Warren cross-country program is “to bring out the best in every student/athlete, by leading through discipline, respect and overall body awareness.” Warren qualified for the state meet in 2013 and 2014 and have been San Gabriel Valley League champions in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Coach Miranda can be contacted with further questions by e-mail at or by cell phone at (562) 842-5115. Coach Miranda, his staff and runners hope to see you at a cross-country workout this summer.     

■ The Warren High School football team is looking to improve on their 2-7-1 finish from a season ago. The Bears were young and inexperienced a season ago and that age and experience is a year older now and is looking much better this summer. Players have gotten bigger, faster and stronger and are working hard to get better.

The varsity team is in the weight room from 8-10 a.m. and is on the field practicing from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Warren appears to be deeper and more experienced on both offense and defense. 
Assistant coach Daniel Singh likes what he sees and is upbeat for the season to start. Coach Singh added that “Warren won their passing league contest last weekend.”

Some offensive players to keep an eye on are quarterback Chris Venegas, wide receiver Robbie Colenzo, running back Nikko Tuala-Fierro, wide receiver Desmond Carnes, Sebastian Guerrero, John Herrin, Joseph Vargas, Justin Mendez and Mikel Trujillo. These athletes are impact type players who are bringing more experience and skill to their positions.

On defense, senior defensive lineman Steven Miranda, senior defensive lineman Diego Garcia and junior linebacker Alex Ortiz will all be stronger and more experienced this season. 

The Bears will also have an excellent kicker on special teams. Senior kicker/punter Ismael Montoya will help the Bears score points from distance as well as help in the battle of field position. Senior long snapper Jeremy Serrano will also play a key role with providing good snaps. 

Coach Lara, his staff and players are all looking forward to the start of the 2017 football season.  

Kathleen Becker passes away at 90

Kathleen Becker, born Kathleen Merrick on Christmas day, 1926, passed away June 4 at age 90.
She was a loving mother, wife, friend, and belonged to many service organizations, including Soroptimist and American Association of University Women. She loved teenagers and worked with them at mark Keppel High School for 52 years, first as a physical education teacher, then as a guidance counselor, and ultimately as an assistant principal.
She was pre-deceased by her husband, Fred Becker, and her two sons, Ron and Cliff Becker. She is survived by her daughter, Janet Trippel, and her granddaughter, Sahara Becker.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Kay Becker to:
Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation
1004A O’Reilly Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129
Toll Free (US only): 86-Myotonic (866-968-6642) 

UCLA supporters announce Southeast Bruins Scholarship

Giselle Del Carmen of Maywood walking during the traditional Commencement Ceremony at UCLA on June 18.

Giselle Del Carmen of Maywood walking during the traditional Commencement Ceremony at UCLA on June 18.

DOWNEY -- The Southeast Bruins Network is concluding the 2016-17 fiscal year with the creation of an official "Southeast Bruins Scholarship."  The accomplishment comes after over eight months of collaboration among the Southeast Bruins Board of Directors, officials at UCLA, and local UCLA supporters.  

The initial Southeast Scholarship Award will be granted to one student from the Southeast Los Angeles region in the fall of 2017.  This marks the first time in the history of UCLA that the University's Office of Scholarships and Student Support Initiatives awards this region-specific scholarship.  

The first scholarship recipient will be announced at an inaugural annual event in the fall.  

The initial scholarship is in the amount of $4,000 and the recipient will receive it over the span of four years in four annual disbursements. This merit-based scholarship was made possible by the generosity of multiple local UCLA alumni and friends. The Southeast Bruins Network have expressed special gratitude to Joseph's Bar and Grill, Law Offices of Miguel Duarte, La Barca Grill and Cantina Inc., and Downey's very own past mayor Mario Guerra and current Mayor Fernando Vasquez and Mi Cielo Restaurant and Rooftop Lounge.  

Officials at UCLA note that the annual cost of tuition at UCLA is $13,254, but caution that the true cost of attendance can rise to over $33,000 per year once room and board and other costs of living expenses are factored in. To relieve some of the financial pressures accompanying students during their college career, the Southeast Bruins are making a call to action and strongly encouraging all those who are in a position to do so to consider contributing to the official Southeast Bruins Scholarship Fund. 

Anyone wishing to make this tax-free contribution to the Southeast Scholarship fund is encouraged to contact George Touma, Director of Development at UCLA, at (310) 983-3065 or by emailing him at Additionally, supporters can contribute directly by visiting the following website:

Letter to the Editor: No more Rush Limbaugh

Dear Editor:

Journalism and the community would be better served if irrational and inhumane Republicans like Rush Limbaugh were not allowed to voice opinions uncontested.

Yes, he and local conservatives too have every right in this country to be heard. Any dog can bark. We are hearing them on the television every day. But it is important to balance ridiculous opinions with intelligence. It would give the newspaper some some semblance of credibility and has been here in the past.
The second article on the opinion page -- a philosophy diametrically opposite to that of Limbaugh, by Peter Montgomery — is a good counterpoint to Limbaugh’s article. Even more than rational and humane, it is factual. In times of great difficulty such as we live in now, it is important to maintain and support voices of reason.

It is Important to contest every voice that undermines credibility and humanity. It is important to refuse to feed the basest instincts. Tragedy is often born of hysteria.
Rush Limbaugh, like the Tin Man, could use a heart. And a proof reader. Hopefully, in the future, The Patriot will not give him the stage and spotlight uncontested.
Roy Anthony Shabla

Letter to the Editor: Higher standards for post office

Dear Editor:

I have to agree 100% with the letter from Ruben Macias regarding the Downey post office on Firestone Boulevard.

Just this week I tried to renew my passport and was unable to get through their phone system. I walked into the office to try an in-person renewal and was told I needed an appointment and they were booked the whole month of June. Just ridiculous.
I Googled and Yelped reviews of this office to find out that I was not the only one who had the same problem with the office not answering their phones. This is a consistent habit for the Downey office and our community needs to speak up.

Until the time that this issue gets fixed, I hope to see a letter every week in the Patriot about this problem to show the post office we are taking this seriously. Are they doing the same?

In the meanwhile, I have to say the Santa Fe Springs office has excellent service. This is proof that the job can be done if you are willing to do the work.
Mark Lopez

Shared Stories: My Cat for 25 Years

Kay Halsey shares the story of a beloved feline who wandered into her yard one day and stayed for decades. Shared Stories is a weekly column featuring articles by participants in a writing class at the Norwalk Senior Center. Bonnie Mansell is the instructor for this free class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program. Curated by Carol Kearns


By Kay Halsey

When I had children at home we often took our supper out of doors in the lovely backyard where it was cooled by orange and apple trees. My husband would enjoy feeding a stray cat under the table when I wasn’t looking. Cat loved his donations and stayed around. He became my cat.

He could jump from the roof to the ground and run very fast. Other cats stayed away, but Cat found our house his home. Eventually, when my husband had died and my four children had left home, he was my companion.

He was my companion for 25 years. He sat by me, with his rear towards me, guarding me. His tail always lightly touching my leg. He slept in the mornings until I made my breakfast. I would find him sitting in the chair waiting for me to come and eat, hoping I would let him lick my cereal dish.

One morning I missed him. When I went outside I found him lying on some weeds, enjoying the warmth of the sun. His long tan and black hair had turned to white.

Anytime I stopped working and sat down, he joined me. He jumped in my lap, hoping I would scratch his neck.

Cat talked to me – a guttural sound was a Good Morning greeting, a high-to-low growl was notice that he wanted more to eat.  

He had been around for 25 years at least. He would ask for food, but smell it and not eat. His body was long and thin. His rear quarter dragged and he’d lost his jumping ability. Inability to swallow and difficulty in movement seem to go with age.

The stress of caring for an old cat was immediate. I tired of seeking out accidental messes, shed fur, fleas, and smells. I myself was having trouble keeping my home clean.  

I made an unplanned decision to take him to SEAACA, a facility that humanely disposes of cats. It was reason instead of emotion.

I put him in my arms and put him on the back seat of the car. I registered him with the clerk at SEAACA for $35. I was told to drive to the back of the building and wait my turn in the tent.

I held him in my arms. A man in green gloves came out of the gate and put him in a wire cage. I saw his sad eyes! I knew this was the loss of a wonderful companion so necessary for both of us. A neighbor told me that the clerk gives the animals a shot for termination. This was a sad day in my life.

There are many losses when you grow old and find yourself alone. I am safer and now more active in Tai Chi, fine art painting, and writing for memoirs class.

Letter to the Editor: Sustainable landscaping

Dear Editor: 

In my efforts at xeriscaping (using drought-tolerant California natives) I've discovered some practical principles about sustainable gardening, here in Downey, that I'd like to share.

The first is that you don't need to xeriscape everything in order to save significant amounts of water. In deference to the 60-year-old star pine in my front yard, I use garden-tolerant plants in it's root zone and water it weekly. In the back, a quarter of the yard hosts two 60-year-old avocados and another quarter is lawn (a place to play with the dog), and they also get watered every week. But by converting approximately 2000 square feet into xeriscape, I managed to save, on the average, 30% of my water usage. That's a lot!

I hate my electric bill, and am doing everything I can to reduce it. So I planted three canary island pines to the west of the house because they're (1) fast-growing, (2) narrow, and fit the space (3) sidewalk-and-foundation friendly, (4) are beautiful to look at and (5) tolerate thinning quite well, which will be necessary as they're just off to the side of the power lines. They're not drought tolerant, and they don't particularly like our hard water, but they like our sandy-loamy soil and overall do very well with weekly water. I also planted an island oak out front. It's narrower growth habit fits the yard, and one day, it will be majestic.

In fact, most people think that xeriscaping means cactus, succulents, and rocks. Nothing could be further from the truth! Once you see the heat shimmering above bare, unshaded landscape, you realize that it's reflecting a lot of heat onto the home and into the neighborhood. Trees shade the ground directly, prevent ground-level air from heating up, and allow cooling breezes to blow through. There's a tree for every landscape, from desert willows to towering ashes, so don't sacrifice trees in order to save water. 

If you're looking for maximum shade, plant tall trees along north-south lines - they will cast long shadows to the west and east during the morning and evening. My star pine shades the house in the morning and the road in the evening, and people love to park there.

But don't count on trees to shade your roof or walls in the middle of the day: At noon, the sun is high in the sky and the shade is a small puddle directly under the tree. For noon shade, you would be best planting a wide tree (like an oak) that will keep the property generally cool. As an aside, there are cool roofs that reflect sunlight and heat, and they come in all kinds of materials. Did I mention that I hate my air conditioning bill? We selected a cool roof when we re-roofed.

By focusing on California natives, I've enticed all kinds of birds, butterflies, hummingbirds and bees onto my property. Where it was once rather quiet, scrub jays, orioles, goldfinches, monarchs and honeybees busy themselves in my backyard, and the squirrels and lizards are an endless source of amusement (and frustration) for the dog. 

And finally - style. There isn't a landscape that I don't like: woodland, beach scrub, meadow, prairie, desert - I love them all. In experimenting with different plants, I've managed to create everything from woodland to coastal scrub to English cottage garden (sometimes accidentally) and I've learned that there isn't a style that can't be reproduced (except maybe tropical) with the right choice of water-wise plants. So, what kind of landscape brings you joy when you look at it? You can achieve it and be water-wise too.

Joan Niertit

WWE Money in the Bank Preview and Predictions

Patriot readers got a bit of a wrestling break this month, as a rather lackluster Extreme Rules card (minus the main event) really didn’t leave too much to talk about, before or after the show.

However, one of my personal favorite (if not my absolute favorite) pay-per-views of the year – Money in the Bank – is upon us, and the card looks to have the potential to live up to the hype surrounding the briefcase that will be suspended above the ring.


Jinder Mahal (c) (with The Singh Brothers) vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship

I usually end with the championship match out of respect to the championship, but who am I kidding?

WWE went from a boring champion to a boring champion with an anti-American gimmick. Jinder is only slightly more entertaining as champion than Orton was, and the Singh brothers are still just the evil henchmen that flip-between getting in the way and getting slapped around.

I’ll give this one to Jinder, only to say that maybe the WWE is still giving him a shot to grow and develop as champion.

Prediction: Jinder Mahal retains



The Usos (c) vs The New Day for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship

We haven’t seen The New Day since they were traded to Smackdown during the Superstar Shake-up. However, part of their triumphant return includes a shot at the tag champs.

The Uso’s reign has been refreshing since the lackluster debacle that was the American Alpha. They’ve done a lot to bring some prestige back to the titles and the tag division itself.

I definitely feel that Jimmy and Jey will be dropping the titles to the Unicorn Stampede, however I don’t think that it will be happening just yet.

Prediction: The Usos retains


Naomi (c) vs Lana for the Smackdown Women’s Championship

It wasn’t too long ago that the Smackdown Women’s Championship meant something.

Yeah, I went there.

The blue brand’s women’s division seems to have fallen in a bit of an identity crisis as of late, which is unfortunate considering the wealth of talent in the division.

As exciting as many were to see Naomi win the title, her reign has seemed a bit scatter brained and uneventful; she didn’t even defend the title at the last Smackdown PPV.

Then there’s Lana, who up until recently has been the manager to her real life husband Rusev. Now – and quite randomly – she finds herself away from her husband in a wrestling role, and for the title no less.

This match screams red herring to me. I think Lana will put on a convincing performance in a losing effort, leaving a victorious Naomi battered and beaten. Then another woman’s – the winner of the women’s Money in the Bank match – music will hit.

Predictable? Yeah. Done before? Multiple times. But Naomi isn’t leaving with her title, and maybe it will bring some freshness and direction back to the Women’s Championship picture.

Prediction: Naomi wins, but gets “cashed in” on by MitB winner


Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella (with James Ellsworth) in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

In a word: history.

History will be made this Sunday, as for the first time ever the women of WWE will have the opportunity to ascend a ladder and grab a hold of their destiny in the form o a briefcase.

Because this is a “first time ever” sort of deal it’s a little hard to try and call. But here’s my take.

  • Carmella is good, but she isn’t quite “there” to be a champion yet. She brings an awesome dynamic into the match with James Ellsworth, who I guarantee will try to climb the ladder for his special lady. Ellsworth should provide at least one extremely entertaining, high-risk bump.
  • Tamina still needs some developing. Many – myself included – still don’t see her as much more than a glorified body guard type for another superstar.
  • My poor Becky Lynch…WWE has been there, done that. She’s been kind of lost in the shuffle as of late anyways.

That leaves Natalya and Charlotte, both extraordinarily gifted athletes from a generational family of wrestlers.

While I’m sure many would put their money on Charlotte out of the two, I’m giving it to Natalya. Charlotte is still pretty over even without a title, and Natalya would be more the sneaky type to pull off the action I alluded to in my Women’s title prediction.

Prediction: Natalya


AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Any of these men would be a great person to hold the briefcase and be the next “Mr. Money in the Bank.” With such a star studded group of wrestlers, this easily is going to be a fast paced, high action spectacle.

Ziggler is the only one to ever win the briefcase before, but I don’t see him winning it again this time around. More than likely, he’s just in for some added flash.

Sami Zayn is the underdog from the underground. I still say he’ll eventually see his day, but like Ziggler I just think he’s some flash power.

It just makes sense to have the Phenomenal One in this match. AJ Styles tends to bring the best out of every match and opponent. He doesn’t need the title nor the briefcase, but man am I happy he’s in the match anyways.

I have long said that Kevin Owens and the Money in the Bank briefcase were made for each other. The problem is that he currently holds the US Title, and while the US Champion has won the briefcase before (Miz did it in 2010), he’s flourishing as “The New Face of America” and the briefcase may get in the way of that.

I thought Nakamura might be winning this match right up until he climbed the ladder during this week’s Smackdown and grabbed the briefcase to end the show. That puts a lot of eyes on Shinsuke (If they weren’t already on him) and opens the possibility for a surprise winner.

Baron Corbin has done well establishing himself as a “big man” and getting himself established in the main event scene. I still feel like he has a bit more to go before he’s championship caliber, however in my gut I feel like Corbin will be the one to stand victorious atop the ladder at the end.

Prediction:  Baron Corbin

Surviving the war was only half the battle

Downey resident and WWII veteran Harold Hougland survived a Japanese attack on the USS Franklin, but as he would later learn, surviving the war was only half the battle.

In the aftermath of the attack on the ship I was serving aboard, which nearly sunk us and caused heavy loss of life, I was re-assigned to the U.S. Naval Training Station in Ottumwa, Iowa.


My duty there consisted of entertainment, playing and singing with a big dance band – I had played in the ships band aboard the aircraft carrier. After the horrific experience of the bombing of our ship and helping bury at sea more than 700 of my shipmates, this was cozy duty indeed.  

Doing what I enjoyed while waiting to get out of the Navy on the points system (based on the amount of major battles participated in, etc.), I wasn’t regular Navy; only in for the war’s duration.

After a few weeks of enjoying my new soft-duty, I received a letter from my step-mother informing me that my best friend and high school classmate was in a psychiatric hospital in Indiana, not far from my hometown of Oakland City, in population of around 5000 souls.

According to her (my angel of a step-mother), he, my friend, Lennis, had been riding in a jeep with three buddies when they sustained a direct mortar hit, killing the three and blowing him from the vehicle, miraculously unharmed, physically.

Upon receipt of this news, I was devastated and began cogitating if there could be any possible way I might be able to help. According to the information in the letter, my friend wasn’t recognizing anyone visiting him; not even family members.

With this in mind I began to formulate a plan.

I thought that there might be a slim chance that my showing up to see him could possibly shock him into a semblance of reality – a chance I decided to take.

Armed with the letter I went to the commanding officer of the base (right to the top, no messing around). He listened intently to my story and my plan, and when I finished he said, “Will three days be all right?”

I said something like,  “Yes, sir, that will be fine, thank you. But don’t you want to see the letter?”

To which he replied, “No, that won’t be necessary. No one could possibly concoct a story like that just to get a three day emergency leave – here’s your pass and good luck with your buddy.”

I now resorted to the speediest form of transportation for a service man: hitch-hiking.

When I arrived at his facility and was guided to his ward, I looked through the metal grating searching for him. When our eyes met, he said, “Hougland, what are you doing here?”

Thank God, my slim chance plan worked.

Shortly after that he was released, with no memory of my visit, the hospital stay or the combat incident. When I asked him about the experience, he told me there was a period in his life that was a total blank.

Upon discharge he experienced no after-effects and lived a completely normal life. What a blessing!

Not me. I struggled for years with post war PTSD, wasting away years of my life in confusion and heavy drinking. Thank God I finally recovered, but will never be able to forget my war-combat, or stop grieving for my many precious lost shipmates.