Lois Law Frett

February 25, 1926 - November 30, 2016

Lois was born in Sioux City, Iowa to parents Glen and Hilda Law. She was the oldest of four children. The family moved to Pierson, Iowa where Lois attended a one room country grade school. She graduated from Pierson High School. After high school, she joined the Nurse Cadet Corps where she went to nursing school. On graduation, her services as a nurse were no longer needed by the military so she began her career in Sioux City doing private duty nursing.


It was there that she met her future husband, Edward Frett. They were married on September 26, 1947. They settled in Norwalk, California when Edward was discharged from the US Navy following the Korean Conflict and started a family.


Lois worked for 35 years as an emergency room RN. Upon retirement, Lois and Edward moved to the Sun Lakes community in Banning. She enjoyed knitting caps for veterans undergoing chemo treatment at their local VA hospital, made quilts for Head Start programs and teddy bears for the local police and fire dept. and being part of the Red Hat Society. When she could no longer live alone she moved to assisted living in Whittier and then to Lakewood Gardens (Downey) to be close to family.


She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Edward, sons Michael and Steven and brothers John “Jack”, Paul and Don.


She is survived by daughter, Nancy and her husband Kevin Merrick, grand children David and wife Cecilia, Sarah and husband James Granger, great granddaughter Rebecca Granger.


A memorial mass will be said for Lois on January 20th at 10:30 am Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Downey.

Rita Streed

October 5, 1925 - December 17, 2016

Rita Murdock Streed was born Rita Grace Murdock on October 5, 1925 in New Mexico to Roy and Gladys Murdock. She became a doting big sister to James and Charles, and was known as “Sis” to her family.


Rita enjoyed helping children in the Little Lake School District, volunteering with the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the Santa Fe High School Band, sewing for her family and community groups, and helping in countless other local activities.


A celebration of her inspirational life is planned on January 21, 2017 at 11:00 AM, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 11507 Studebaker Road in Norwalk, where Rita was extremely active as a member for 63 years. In lieu of flowers, donations to the children of Trinity Christian School in her honor and memory would be appreciated. Children were always her priority, and as she was fond of saying, “Everyone is a teacher.”

Pamela Ann Box

March 7, 1947 - December 21, 2016

Pamela Ann Box, beloved Mother, Wife, Grammy, Great-Grandmother, Sister and Aunt passed away on December 21, 2016 with her family at her side.


Pamela was born on March 7, 1947 in Huntington Park, California to H.J. and Emma Rose Lee. She grew up in Downey, California where she graduated from Downey High School in 1964. As a Downey Vikette, she loved all of the friends she gained from being a part of that experience. Pamela met and fell in love with her husband, Ron, and married on July 5, 1969 at the First Baptist Church of Downey.


Pamela began her journey in education as a teacher at Rio Hondo Elementary School in 1970. Throughout her 35 years of service in the Downey Unified School District, Pamela was a teacher, a reading specialist, and an elementary school principal. Throughout her 35 years of dedication to the children of Downey, Pam found happiness in impacting the lives of everyone she met. She loved all aspects of her career. It truly was her calling and she found great joy in encouraging teachers as well as students to be the very best they could be.


In her retired years, Pam and her husband Ron, found tremendous pleasure in spending time with their wonderful family. Pam’s favorite thing to do was having the family over, because she enjoyed a home filled with laughter. She looked forward to monthly birthday celebrations that were spent sharing good food, watching the kids play, and hearing all about life’s adventures from each of her beloved family members. She lovingly cared for her two youngest granddaughters during the day, and cherished the time playing games, reading stories, and cuddling for nap time with them.


Pam will be greatly missed. We know her spirit lives on in each and every one of us who were fortunate to be a part of her life. She is survived by her beloved husband Ron; her three faithful daughters, Kelly, Allison, and Melissa; her devoted son, Jeff; her two wonderful sons-in-law, Mario and Trevor, her incredible grandchildren, Christina, Freddy, Gianna, Matthew, Stephanie, Carlos, Stella, and Delilah ; precious great grandchildren, Preston, Kaden, Mia, and Joshua, and many close cherished friends.


A “Celebration of Life” service will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at the Downey First Christian Church, in Downey, CA.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Pamela Box Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Warren High School, which will provide a scholarship to a Downey senior pursuing a career in education.

Shared Stories: A Dream Come True -- My First Vacation

An older sister’s need for a babysitter was the occasion for Vickie Williams’s first trip away her childhood home in Louisiana.  She traveled to Chicago in a brand new ’67 Malibu, reveled in a Motown concert, and took her first airplane ride in a 20-seater plane. 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 Vickie Williams
Winter slept, as spring leaped forward. Orange-black butterflies suckled on still magnolias during the day. The scent of honeysuckle perfumed the night air. Plum trees fully laced with white blossoms attracted black bumblebees and early birds sang morning, delightfully feasting on their prey.

Dewdrops nestling on blades of grass quickly evaporated in the rising sun as day progressed and lazy dogs lay sluggishly in humid Delta heat. Old trucks with live chickens for sale rumbled through the neighborhood and children took to competition playing box hockey, shooting marbles, jumping rope and racing up and down the streets.

Sunshine drew elders to their rocking chairs on their garrets. Winter wear packed in mothballs were stored in old footlockers and cedar chest awaited the return of winter.

Backyard gardens planted in late March blossomed, looked hopeful as yellow flowers flourished on tomato vines signaled future possibilities. Chickens laid eggs in their coups and cackled. Toddlers played in dirt painting their faces with mud, and manicured lawns looked like shags of green carpet.

March winds hummed loudly and danced with fury. April showers brought heavy rains as fluffy white clouds mushroomed into blackness. Crystal sheets of rain poured heavily and thunder roared loudly with sharp bolts of lightning.  

I loved playing skinning the cat, draping my knees over the T-shaped poles that held up our clothes lines, as the remainder of my body dangled toward the ground. These were springtime snapshots of my familiar, where I lived in the South.

The school year had ended. March winds and April rains had passed.  It was mid May 1967, when I received the good news. I was going to Chicago for the summer. I had just turned fourteen years old on May 7th that year, a poor, proud young colored girl with my chest stuck out after receiving the exciting news. I wasted no time packing mother’s gray Samsonite suitcase she let me borrow.  I needed no encouragement to do so. Her approval was all I needed, such a wonderful belated birthday gift.

My sister Gertrude, who lived in Chicago, needed a babysitter for the summer. Going to a big city was a dream come true. She and her husband had come home to visit with their two-year-old son and upon returning to the Windy City, they needed someone to look after him.

My nephew and I bonded like glue. His dark dreamy doll eyes stole my heart, when our eyes first met. He quickly became the magnet of my affection. He was soft, serene, and sweet as a velvet breeze.  I was happy to show off his good looks. It was love at first sight.

“Be good. Behave. Do what they ask you to do,” mother instructed. “I’m gonna miss you.” “I’ll miss you too, Ma Dear.” “I love you.” “I love you too.”

Hugs and kisses flourished between us, as we said our good-byes. Mother stood at the edge of the front yard waving, loudly issuing more instructions. “Keep the doors locked when you are home alone. Don’t talk to strangers.”

My nephew and I proceeded to the back seat of the car waving good-bye, as the car took off. My father had said his goodbyes the night before. He woke up with the chickens to go to work.
Christmas arrived early May for me. I felt as light as a helium balloon in my own orbit. I gladly left my dusty tracks behind, spinning dreams in my mind, headed Midwest. Little did I know what was in store.

Leaving my hometown for an entire summer was a long stretch, bigger than my imagination. I did not know what I had bargained for.  My young mind took no time to think about it. I relished the opportunity to get away. I embraced the journey.

I knew of no other kid on the block as fortunate as me. Poor folks like us never took vacations. My vacation was usually around the corner to Uncle Eddie’s, my mother’s brother, for a week. His children were close to my age. All of my siblings were much older.  

My hay fever resonated, spring was in full bloom, as my nose and eyes watered for relief. Pollen rode the air, as the humidity, not quite oven-like was heating up. Leaving home sparked adventure in my mind. Nothing could tarnish my exhilaration.

I had visions of seeing the world some day, as I sometimes drifted into wonderland daydreaming, watching planes sailing across iris-blue skies. Opportunity embodied my dream. My day had come. I often pondered what other places would be like beyond the South. Good weather along our journey made traveling provisions ideal.

We pivoted from the Deep South headed North in a brand new burgundy 1967 Malibu Chevrolet. It was spick and span, stylish and smelled new. As we advanced to the Windy City, I could not contain my excitement. My eyes, riveted with curiosity, drank in the scenery along the way.  I inhaled countryside fresh air, soaked in intriguing landscapes: rainbow meadows, fields of yellow, purple, red and pink wild flowers, green pastures, orchards of trees, spans of cotton fields and unknown crops. Crossing bridges and witnessing steamboats meandering on the Mississippi River grabbed my attention. I had never seen so many big rigs ambling down the highway.

I dared not sleep. All the excitement made me feel like a rookie advancing from the minors to the big league. I felt so lucky. The sparkling beige interior made me proud to be a passenger in such a plush car.

The dung of cows, sheep, and goats grazing in fertile pastures created a lasting stench, as we traveled through the countryside. I was relieved to inhale the fresh breath of pines and towering oaks once we passed the stench. I was enchanted with stylish southern brick homes sitting on acres of grassy green carpet, rustic red barns with stacks of golden hay, and men plowing farmland on industrial tractors.

I saw silver strands of moss draped on trees and wondered what was in the thick bush. I cringed to know. Eerie thoughts came to mind.

As night unfolded, I felt like a junior astronomer enamored with clusters of stars sparkling like tinsel in the jet-black sky. I was moonstruck and awed. We listened to Wolf Man Jack on the radio spinning Motown jams and danced in our seats. It was about a day and a half before our arrival in the city.

Chicago
My first view of Chicago was not impressive. Houses crunched next to each other startled me. The buildings appeared drab, mostly grey stone, dark, dirty, and dingy. No grass anywhere it seemed. Soot veiled the city. The air smelled stale and rancid.

Washburn Ave, a main artery in the inner city, teemed with hustlers. Old women sat at bus stops weighted down with grocery bags and laundry carts. Peddlers pushing their products selling everything from fine jewelry, clothing, Chicago dogs, and Polish sausages crowded the streets.

Young women in hot pants and go-go boots hung out on street corners. A man smiling with gold front teeth tapped on the car window trying to sell watches while we waited at the stoplight. Colored men dressed in bright yellow, red, green, and purple suits with matching wide brim hats, and shoes paced the streets.

My eyes ablaze with so much color, my ears overwhelmed with such commotion. The streets reminded me of a busy circus. Some folks 

moved as if they were on octane with a mission. The scariest sight was a man without a shirt wearing tattered dark pants draped in chains dragging a flatbed of wood on his tobacco brown back. Some colored men had processed hair and others had Afros. It was a blend of the wildly exotic and the ordinary, a real shock to me.

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L-Trains screeching and chugging on tracks vibrated with annoyance. It was an alarming welcome to the city. I silently longed for the simple life, the peace and quiet of my laid-back neighborhood: the smell of sweet magnolias, the comfort of my mother’s kitchen, the scent of fresh cut grass, clean air, and open spaces. I missed sprawling shade trees and warm southern greetings,

Things got better as we approached the apartment on West Adams where my sister lived. I greeted it with a sigh of relief. The building had several entrances and many levels. It was an upgrade from home with a red brick exterior, neatly attired with modern furniture, walls with fresh coats of paint, floors blanketed with carpet, a doubled sink in the kitchen, a sparkling stove and snow white refrigerator. It was a quiet habitat.

I met Rose, my sister’s friend. She was round, plump, and friendly, had no children and adored my nephew and me. I had no one my age to communicate or play with. I grew homesick quickly, but never asked to go home.

My sister worked days and her husband worked nights. He slept must of the day. We played card games, monopoly, dominoes, and checkers for entertainment, when my sister and her husband were not working.

My freedom was restricted. Caution a must. Doors always locked. My brother-in-law was not to be disturbed. Plenty of food and a neatly kept apartment maintained by my sister were reassuring. The noise level I monitored. I was quiet as a whisper.

My nephew was a joy to care for. I would put him in his stroller and with my sister’s permission we would go for short walks. I read him stories, bathed, and fed him. The conservatory was nearby and we would frequent there regularly.

On his parents off-days, we would go sightseeing. We visited Lake Michigan, and nearby were White Sox’s Park, Soldier Field where Gale Sayers, the Chicago Bears running back, broke ankles and made tacklers miss.

We went to the Loop downtown, and my favorite place of all was the Regal Theater. I saw a “dream girl” like performance there. It was a gift from my brother-in-law for being a good babysitter. The line up included the Spinners, Four Tops, Impressions, the Miracles, Martha and the Vandelas. 

The glitz and glamour caused my eyes to glow like the moon. I struck gold and was in a Motown groove. The songs and choreography received long applauses. Those days the music was the star.

Going Home
I never thought I would miss home so much. I longed for my mother’s loud voice and soulful cooking, the rivalry playing sports with friends, and the freedom to roam free. I missed the simple things, picking plums and blackberries, buying penny cookies and dill pickles at the neighborhood store, hanging out at the softball park, shooting hoops at the recreational center, saying hello and chatting with elders that admired my spunk.

I missed spending summer nights at Uncle Eddie’s around the corner, keeping my cousins awake telling jokes and giggling. “Go to sleep gal. Y’all stop that giggling.” My Uncle’s command made my rebellion that much sweeter. We would pull the covers over our heads, place our hands over our mouths, and silently giggle.

My anticipation to return home was like a drought thirsting for rain. Leaving my nephew behind brought tears to my eyes. A lump swelled in my throat. “Thank you so much, Vic, for being a great babysitter,” my sister with a forlorn look said to me. “I’m going to miss you so much.”

We hugged tightly saying our goodbyes. I picked up my nephew and held him closely not wanting to leave him behind. I wanted to safeguard him from harm, hurt, and danger. A rivulet of soft tears fell from his eyes when I told him I was going bye-bye. My brother-in law and I locked eyes with a smile and I grabbed him around his waste ever so grateful for spending a sometimes lonesome, but eye-opening vacation with them. “You be good and hit the books. Thanks a million,” he said to me.

I took my first airplane ride out of Midway Airport in Chicago. I was thrilled. The plane was a commuter with a single engine. The seats were snuggly, rubber-band tight. It only seated about twenty passengers or less.

I had to change planes in St. Louis. The plane there was much larger and the skies were surreal for travel. It had a black cover on its nose as if it had been in battle. My stomach was queasy on take off, but with little turbulence, my ride home was a success. The ease in which we sailed the heavenly blue skies was seductive.

Leaving Chicago I had earned my wings. I was ecstatic to see my parents’ faces. My residence at 814 Camp Street never looked more inviting to me. I had so much to share. There was no sweeter landing than home sweet home.

Downey tops Warren in wrestling showdown

DOWNEY – The Warren High School wrestling team traveled to cross-town rival Downey Tuesday night for their annual grappling showdown and were defeated, 43-25. 

The evening started well for the Bears as 106 pounder Carlos Vasquez defeated Isaac Medina of Downey 9-2 to take a 3-0 lead. 

Downey’s 113 pounder Jonathan Prata pinned Warren’s Moreno at the 2:28 mark of the second period and the Vikings took the lead at 6-3. Downey’s 113 pounder Dilan Ajtun pinned Warren’s Salvador Alvarez at the 2:45 mark of the second period to extend Downey’s lead to 12-3. Roland Dominguez of Downey pinned Joshua Mendoza at the 3:02 mark of the second period and Downey went up 18-3 after four matches.  

Warren’s Matthew Lopez defeated Matthew Morales at 132 pounds 3-1 and Warren closed the gap to 18-6. Allan Elizalde of Warren defeated Omar Acosta of Downey 6-5 and Warren pulled to within 18-9. Downey’s 145 pounder Armando Padilla defeated Warren’s Allan Dillon 7-0 and Downey extended their lead to 21-9. Downey’s 152 pounder Adrian Segovia pinned Gabriel Cabrera at the 1:08 mark of the first period as Downey started to pull away 27-9 after eight matches.

Warren’s 160 pounder Ismael Bautista answered back for the Bears as he pinned Sergio Smith at the 3:27 mark of the second period to get Warren six team points and draw the score to 27-15. Downey’s 170 pounder Nic Arellano pinned Martinez of Warren to make it 33-15 and Miguel Bravo of Downey pinned Garcia of Warren at 189 pounds as Downey took a commanding 39-15 lead.

The Bears’ 195 pounder Kenneth Gonzalez defeated Downey’s Daniel Martinez 11-0 to add four team points and close the score to 39-19. Warren’s 220 pounder Alexis Galvan then pinned Downey’s Adrian Guerra at the 3:50 mark of the second period and that closed the score to 39-25. Finally, Viking heavyweight Elias Velasco (285) defeated Warren’s Edgar Negrete 16-2 to add four more team points to nail down the Vikings’ 43-25 win. The Bears wrestled well and won 6 of 14 weight classes.     

■ The Downey High School wrestling team competed in the Juan Enriquez Memorial Tournament at John Glenn High School last weekend where they finished in second place behind tournament champion Millikan. 

Downey had five wrestlers place in the top eight of their individual weight classes.
Jonathan Prata placed first at 106 pounds and was named “champion of champions” for the tournament. Dilan Ajtun also placed first at 113 pounds as did 120 pounder Roland Dominguez. Downey went 3-3 in the 106, 113 and 120 weight classes. Nic Arellano placed second at 170 pounds and Adrian Guerra placed fourth at 195 pounds. 

Millikan finished the tournament with 193 points, Downey finished second with 180.5 points, Mira Costa finished third with 169 points, John Glenn finished fourth with 165 points and Cypress finished fifth with 162 points, respectively.

To round out the top ten, Santa Fe finished sixth with 159 points, Valencia finished seventh with 147.5 points, Marina finished eighth with 143 points, Peninsula finished ninth with 142.5 points and Ventura finished tenth with 137 points.

Downey defeated cross-town rival Warren 43-25 on Tuesday at Downey and wrestled Gahr yesterday (scores unavailable at press time). Coach Soto, his staff and wrestlers are all looking forward to S.G.V.L. competition and making another run at a C.I.F. championship.  

■ The Warren High School boys’ basketball team currently has an overall record of 7-9 and began league play Wednesday night when they traveled to Paramount to play the Pirates (score unavailable at press time). 

The Bears competed in the Rancho Mirage Holiday Invitational Tournament over the Christmas Break and finished with a record of 1-3.

Warren was defeated by Faith Lutheran of Las Vegas 61-36 on 12/27, were defeated by Ironwood Ridge of Tucson 55-48 on 12/28, were defeated by La Quinta 70-66 on 12/29 and defeated Bellarmine-Jefferson of Burbank 83-71 on 12/30.

In their final preseason games, the Bears were defeated by La Salle 59-56 at Warren on 1/4, were defeated by Woodrow Wilson of Long Beach 75-67 at Warren on 1/6 and defeated Bernstein of Hollywood 70-65 on 1/7 in the Cavalier Classic. 

Warren will host the Gahr Gladiators later today and will travel to cross-town rival Downey next Wednesday for the first of two of their much anticipated games against the Vikings.
Coach Leflore, his staff and players are all looking forward to the start of league play. The preseason is now officially over and the S.G.V.L. season is finally here. 

Warren finished last season with an overall record of 13-14 and were 3-7 in San Gabriel Valley League play. Lynwood and Dominguez will once again be the teams to beat.

■ The Downey High School boys’ basketball team currently has an overall record of 11-8 and played Dominguez at Downey on Wednesday night in the S.G.V.L. opener for both schools (score unavailable at press time).

The Vikings competed in the Holiday Hoops Classic Tournament at Mt. Carmel over the Christmas Break and finished in fifth place. Downey defeated Mission Vista of Oceanside 74-39 in their first game on 12/27, defeated Chatsworth 60-45 in their second game on 12/29 and defeated Burbank Burroughs 53-39 in their third game on 12/30. The win over Chatsworth secured the Downey’s fifth place finish.

In their final preseason games, Downey was defeated by Murrieta Mesa 54-50 on 1/5 at Downey and defeated Sunny Hills 68-61 on 1/6, also at Downey. The Vikings will travel to Lynwood later today to face the Knights and will host cross-town rival Warren on next Wednesday.

Coach Shelton, his staff and players are all looking forward to the start of league play. Downey has been led on offense this season by senior Brian Chavez’s 14.6 points per game, senior Justin Reyes’ 14.3 points per game and senior Aaron Garcia’s 11.6 points per game. 

The Vikings finished last season with an overall record of 20-10 and a S.G.V.L. record of 3-7. Downey was defeated by J.W. North of Riverside 51-36 in the quarterfinal round of the C.I.F. Division 1AA playoffs.

 

Letter to the Editor: Taxpayer waste

Dear Editor: 

I was curious. I looked up the words "public" and "servant" in the dictionary but when I put the two together, they had a totally different meaning as applied to our state, county and federal governments. To address our state government, here are a few of the things our public "servants" have done for us. 

Our high-speed rail is costing billions in overruns. The Associated Press reveals that lawmakers have been collecting thousands for cost-of-living, on top of their salaries, while absent. California has rules that allow lawmakers (the highest paid in all 50 states) to collect those payments regardless of whether they even show up for work. 

The Los Angeles Times reports for years Los Angeles has stockpiled millions of dollars from the sale of bonds, forcing taxpayers to shell out at least $54 million in "unnecessary" interest payments on the dormant money. To make room for the bullet train, Caltrans is moving two miles of Highway 99. So far this has cost taxpayers $35 million over original estimates (Sacramento Bee). 

In a state where the median per capita income is just over $30,000, Gov. Jerry Brown, legislators and other elected officials will receive a 4% raise. The California Citizens Compensation Commission (appointed by the governor) justified the raise. Keep in mind that the legislature, Gov. Brown and I don't know how many others already receive the car of their choice, car insurance, health insurance and other perks. California lawmakers now receive $104,115 a year and will receive $14,774 more per year than the next highest paid U.S. state legislators, not counting $176 per day in "walking around money," living expenses for every day the legislature is in session, amounting to an average of $34,000. 

Now here are a few of the things passed by our legislature. Many laws are voted in at the last of the year, probably so people don't have the time to learn about them, so they burn the midnight oil to do what they should have done before or are afraid the public won't like what they did and doesn't have time or opportunity to express their feelings. 

1.) "The state can't fund or require public employees to travel to states believed to discriminate against LGBTs." Maybe they should hire people who aren't so sensitive or they could just keep their sexual preference private. 

2.) "Women can pick up an entire year's worth of birth control pills at once and health plans must cover the cost." Is this why healthcare is so expensive and we all must pay high premiums? 

3.) "Beauty salons and barbershops can now offer patrons a free beer or glass of wine." How did we ever live before this? 

4.) Now consider what major legislation this is and how much time they put in on this: "Denis is the state's official fabric." 

5.) "State funds transgender prisoner's operation." California prison officials agreed to pay for sex reassignment surgery for an inmate who was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery for ransom.

6.) "Felons serving sentences in county jails will be able to vote in California elections." Translation: the Democrats will get more votes. 

7.) "Voters can now legally take a selfie with their completed ballot." Where do they come up with this nonsense? 

8.) "Voters are permitted to legally hand off their sealed ballot to anyone to mail or deliver personally." 

9.) "More cities and counties can offer public financing of political campaigns." Make is easier to buy politicians. How revealing this is for you Democrats. 

10.) One law that didn't pass was by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia to remove taxes on tampons. One of hers that did pass was to put a tax on batteries for clean up. What wasn't in the bill was that money must be used only for that, so now it can be put in for state spending. 

11.) Vehicle registration fee will go up $10 next April. Is this to pay for the new DMVs built to accommodate illegals getting drivers' licenses? 

This is a partial list of how the taxpayer is being ripped off, so when a tax initiative is printed to "help the schools, for more police or firefighters, or 1/2-cent sales tax increase to build a bullet train or for transportation," remember what Nancy Reagan said: Just say no. 

Elsa Van Leuven
Downey

 

Letter to the Editor: New Year's poem

Dear Editor: 

So here hath been dawning another new year!
Let's overflow it with an abundance of good news and good cheer
Let political crudeness stay in the past
And hate be replaced witha love that lasts
May peace and civility throughout our land
Abound and flourish in our country grand
Let's life our God in adoration
And pray He'll bless and guide our nation

Happy New Year all. 

Martha Morrissy-Call
Downey

Paramount partners with non-profit to provide free eyeglasses to students

Paramount Superintendent Ruth Pérez stands with a student receiving a new pair of eyeglasses. Nearly 100 Los Cerritos School students were provided new eyeglasses through a partnership with nonprofit Vision To Learn.

Paramount Superintendent Ruth Pérez stands with a student receiving a new pair of eyeglasses. Nearly 100 Los Cerritos School students were provided new eyeglasses through a partnership with nonprofit Vision To Learn.

PARAMOUNT – Smiling widely and testing out their new eyewear, nearly 100 Los Cerritos School students were provided new eyeglasses by the nonprofit Vision To Learn on Dec. 6 as Paramount Unified teamed with Vision To Learn to address visual challenges throughout the district. 

Through an expansive project organized by the Paramount Rotary Club, about 600 Los Cerritos School students were offered screenings in October and eye exams in November.

The kids found to be in need of prescription glasses were allowed to pick out their own frames before receiving the new glasses this month.
 
“Watching students with vision impairments put on new glasses was like unlocking a whole new world,” Los Cerritos Principal Hilda Verdugo said. “None of this could have happened without the collaborative efforts between Vision To Learn and our student health office technician, Maria Saura. They worked with teachers and parents to make sure all the kids in need were served and we are grateful for their efforts.” 

This is the first year Paramount schools have partnered with Vision To Learn and the District plans to expand the project to reach more of its nearly 16,000 students. Early reading comprehension is a point of emphasis for the Paramount community and the District is taking extra measures to ensure healthy vision for its students.

Vision To Learn began in 2012 and has served more than 60,000 children. Vision To Learn optometrists work out of a mobile clinic that travels to a different school every day. Students are examined on the bus and, if glasses are prescribed, they choose their frames from a wide selection of colors and sizes.

The glasses are delivered to the students at school within three weeks. All of Vision To Learn’s services – from the exam to the glasses – are provided free to the children.

“This project has been a really eye-opening experience for not only our students, but their parents and our educators,” Paramount Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “By providing eyeglasses to our children in need we are giving them the tools they need to be at their best and removing barriers to their success.”   

Letter to the Editor: Impressed with Downey float

Dear Editor:

Thank you for publishing a picture of the Downey Gold Rush float. I generally don't view the parade, and I'm not a fan of floats, but I heard so much about ours that I was anxious to see a picture.

I never expected to see anything so amazing, and I'm a convert. I love everything about it: from the "rugged Old West California" design to the beautiful workmanship. The awards were well-deserved, and now I'm looking forward to next year's design.

Hats off to the float committee.

Joan Niertit
Downey