Shared Stories: Miracle on a Winter Night

Illness or injury to a parent can be terrifying for a young child.  Vickie Williams recalls one freezing night when her father’s nosebleed could not be stopped and there was blood everywhere.  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

The mercury had dropped below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  It was a deep freeze night. The moon was full. It was the scariest night of my life. Death came threatening, knocking at our door, at least I thought. Uncertainty filled our lives.

My father, returning home from visiting a friend, developed a nosebleed. It was a cumbersome task to drive, but he made it home. That night was a bane and a blessing. Looking back, a miracle occurred at 814 Camp Street, Monroe, Louisiana.

I was about ten years old. Our tears flooded heavily with panic and pandemonium. Questions danced in my head. My mother Lucille, two sisters Peggy and Jo, and I were sitting around the open face heater in the dining room, as we bore witness to the unexpected. Our hearts pounded with fright.

My father walked through the front door bleeding from his nose. His white handkerchief was stained blood red. His movements were slow as a boxer surprisingly stung by an uppercut. He entered the house with measured steps, carefully holding a bloody handkerchief close to his nose, so the blood would not drip on the floor. 

We were sitting, chatting, trying not to think of how cold it was outside, and hovering close near the flickering blue, yellow, and red flames. As daddy approached us, we stood up. His bleeding commanded our attention. We rushed to his side, blood dripping on his army green-colored jacket and hands.

My sisters and I in haste lifted his arms to remove his jacket, after he had sat in a chair adjacent to the dining table. Mother rushed to his side. “Oh my God Dorsey, be still,” Mother instructed. “Get me a brown paper bag. Hurry,” she exclaimed. 

I don’t remember who rushed to the kitchen one room over, a few steps away, to get the bag. All I remember is one of us did. Mother tore the bag, rolled a larger piece of brown paper and placed it underneath his top lip to no avail. 

As time ticked forward, the flow of blood gushed with quickening momentum. It only got worse. The blood jetted like a spigot turned on at full speed. Even big clots came gushing out of his mouth.

My sisters and I gathered towels, newspapers, and even a dishpan to catch the blood. It looked like a crime scene out of a dark movie. My stomach revolted full of butterflies, as I gagged.
Mr. Harvey Gibson, an angel always watching over our shoulders and a dear friend to the family, just happened to drop by and arrived just in time. He rushed Daddy to the hospital. As my father leaned on him to get in his truck, we were all dazed, wondering if he would return home. Mother stayed home to comfort us, encouraged by Daddy to do so. 

My father’s face was like a motherless child stumbling in a dark abyss. His eyes were sunken, his face gripped with fear. He had a look of defeat. Our minds were in a state of disarray. We silently wondered if he would return home.  

Mother’s hands so stained with blood were shaking. She struggled holding back her tears. “Lawd have mercy,” she cried out loudly. We slowly gathered the wet newspaper. My sisters and I, sobbing, somehow managed to collect the soiled bloody towels and placed them in a tin tub of cold water. 

To mop the floor, one of us fetched a bucket with bleach, soap, and warm water. I don’t remember who did so. As night gathered further into darkness, mother paced the floor and we all stayed up anticipating a phone call. Sleep was impossible.

The bleeding stopped and Daddy stayed in the hospital overnight. A balloon was placed in his nose inflated with enough air pressure to stop his nosebleed and I recall it was the best news in the world I had ever received when Mr. Harvey called. That night I balled up in a knot, said a simple prayer, “Thank you Jesus,” and fell asleep wanting to be a Christian in my heart.  What a miracle that happened at 814 Camp Street!

Letter to the Editor: We need to stop wildfires

Dear Editor:

It is true. To avoid more wildfires we need Carbon Fee and Dividend now.

In other words, we need to put a rising price on fossil fuels to have a climate that is livable.
As planet Earth warms up more and more on a daily basis because of human activity, we need to curb burning of fossil fuels so we can have a livable planet.

People have heard about recycling or wind and solar power. 

But for some reason many people are not convinced that using less gasoline by driving electric or hydrogen vehicles, or using solar panels and recycling are necessary to help the planet.

The data is in. Human excesses are causing climate change or global warming. So what to do?Well, the first step is to pass Carbon Fee and Dividend.

In other words, use the market place to reduce carbon pollution by putting a price on coal, oil and gas at the source and return the money collected to each U.S. household through a monthly dividend check.

No one wants to be told what to do, but the law can give choices: if one buys products made with carbon fossil fuels, then the consumer will have to pay a little more.

Studies have shown that with Carbon Fee and Dividend, carbon fossil fuel pollution will be reduced by 30 per cent within the next 10 years; it will create 2.5 million jobs and give us a cleaner environment in which to live. It may protect us from ever more ferocious wildfires.
The Earth is not Democrat or Republican. It is all of us.

Peggy Payton wrote to a local newspaper (LATimes: 10/18/17) that
“It is reasonable to expect our leaders to take action before disasters strike by addressing their chief accelerator, human-induced global warming. 

A gradually escalating price on carbon, specifically a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend, would reduce the amount of greenhouse gases entering our atmosphere while encouraging the use of energy sources other than fossil fuels. It would be a powerful move away from disaster.”

So let’s all have Carbon Fee and Dividend as a first step to stop global warming before it is too late. 

Guido Rivero

Downey alumnus and Berkeley team look to the stars

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DOWNEY -- A Downey High alumnus and current sophomore at UC Berkeley is hoping to help put the first completely student developed rocket into space.

Paul Shin is currently leading the Space Enterprise at Berkeley Organization, which has taken it upon itself to tackle and complete an extraordinary task.

“The organization that I’m currently leading right now, it’s primarily about sending things into space,” said Shin. “We want to be a launch provider organization.”

To achieve that goal, Shin says that a vehicle is required. For shin and his team, that boils down to a rocket. That’s where Project KARMAN! And EUREKA-1 come into play.

“The literal definition of Project KARMAN! for us means to be the first university group to successfully fund, design, and build a rocket entirely developed by students that can be launched into space,” said Shin.

While other universities and groups have tried, Shin says there has yet to be a successful attempt to fund and build a rocket that could successfully pass the 100-kilometer mark called the Karman line, which is commonly seen as the boundary where “the sky ends and space begins.”

The rocket that Shin and his team hopes will pass that mark is the 16-inch in diameter, 30-foot in height liquid-fueled EUREKA-1, which would be able to take a payload mass of 5 kilograms.

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“We call it EUREKA-1 because we thought it would be kind of respectful to pay homage to the state that’s kind of supporting everything we’re doing,” said Shin. “We thought EUREKA was a fitting name because not only is it the motto for California, but it also is a word that is used to kind of indicate something new, like the start of something great.”

The team is currently on schedule to launch EUREKA-1 in nine months in July 2018 at SpacePort America, New Mexico.

Shin said that should Project KARMAN! and EUREKA-1 succeed, it “would show the new capabilities of what college students are able to do.”

“Simply proving to the world that college students are able to do such a feat and accomplish such a feat, it’s a eureka moment,” said Shin. “It’s an awakening… our big vision is to inspire the youth, the young in different continents, different backgrounds, to pursue their dreams, especially in the space industry…”

Mayor's Healthy Heart Award: Carmela Castellano-Garcia

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By Mayor Fernando Vasquez

As you may know, I am an advocate for accessible healthcare. Regardless of what you may think of the Affordable Care Act, we can all agree that having access to preventive care saves taxpayers millions of dollars.

This month’s recipient of the Mayor’s Healthy Heart Award is someone who is a true pioneer in the arena of healthcare.

Carmela Castellano-Garcia is president and CEO of California Primary Care Association, an organization that represents more 1,100 community clinics and health centers (CCHCs) and serve 5.7 million patients statewide.

Carmela has become a leading expert in health policy issues, including the healthcare safety net, Latino and multi-cultural health access issues, health care reform, and primary care. She is also the president of the Castellano Family Foundation,  an organization that was founded by her parents and has awarded nearly $4 million in grants.

Her passion for advocating healthcare for underserved populations helps to continue to strengthen the state’s health care safety net.

Carmela earned her degree from Yale Law School in 1991 following her graduation from University of California Berkeley.

It truly is my honor to present Carmela Castellano-Garcia with the Mayor’s Healthy Heart Award for her commitment toward improving the health, well-being and future success for the residents of the City of Downey and for the residents of the State of California.

What is a chakra?


Today we begin with the first of a seven-part series dedicated to the understanding of the chakras. Whirling energy centers that control and energize our body and internal organs. 

The chakras are energy vortices, which have physical, psychological, and spiritual functions. They absorb and process life force from the sun, air, water, and earth. Feeding our physical body and internal organs with restorative energy. Once the life force is consumed the chakras expel the byproduct. 

They resemble a flower with many petals. Rotating clockwise and counter-clockwise simultaneously. The speed in which they rotate depends on the health of the chakra.

In the field of oriental medicine like acupuncture. It is believed that most of the ailments we suffer from stem from imbalances in the chakras and energy body. Keeping our energy centers clean and energized through meditation, prayer, exercise and healthy eating habits will promote a healthier and happier state of being. 

The study and application of life force falls under complementary medicine, meaning it is not meant to replace any treatment your medical doctor prescribes rather compliment it. 

Have a question regarding this article or maybe you’d like to suggest a topic? Write to me at: Next article we will talk about the crown chakra. 

Marcela A. Arrieta is an alternative modality practitioner with over five years of experience in this field. She is also a successful entrepreneur who resides in Downey.

OP-ED: Requiring pet stores to sell rescue animals put small businesses at risk


Two of America’s largest pet care associations, a California breeder association, and a California pet store owner said California Governor Jerry Brown put small businesses at risk this weekend with his signature of Assembly Bill 485.

AB 485 implements a statewide ban on the sale of non-rescue, non-shelter dogs, cats, and rabbits from pet stores.

“Assembly Bill 485 reverses California’s tradition of leading the nation in pet and consumer protections,” said Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) President Mike Bober, who in a video release in September urged Brown to veto AB 485. “It also strips consumers of many pet store protections, risks hundreds of jobs, and reduces pet choice.”

American Kennel Club (AKC) vice president of government relations, Sheila Goffe, said that AB 485 “fails to distinguish between professional breeders and pet profiteers.”

“AB 485 blocks all of California’s pet lovers from having access to professional, licensed, and ethical commercial breeders,” said Goffe. “This is not good for Californians or their companion animals.”

Bober said the amendment, which exempted pet stores from warranty laws, consumer information requirements, fines, and other important regulations, left consumers without proper protections.

“Governor Brown regretfully did not recognize the harm AB 485 will do to his constituents, including the many stores, breeders, and business associations across the Golden State that contacted him,” said Bober and Goffe.

Stormy Hope, Secretary of the Southern California Kennel Owners and Breeders Association, joined in the concern for California’s pets and their purchasers. “The enactment of AB 485 represents a troublesome new reality for California’s pet owners. Their choices will be limited to pets from unknown sources, with unsubstantiated health backgrounds, and without consumer protections.” 

Animal Kingdom founder Adam Tipton, whose three stores employ 26 people, has been a California small business owner since 1995. He said Brown’s signature endangers “not just my employees, but also my customers.”

“Animal Kingdom has had thousands of customers from all over California, other states, and even other countries come to us because of our professionalism and animal care practices,” said Tipton. “For 22 years, our focus has been to choose happy & healthy pets for our customers. AB 485’s ban will leave us without a ready supply of pets.”

According to Tipton, “The public has been put at great risk by the false information that was used to pass this law. Our relationships with breeders mean we know exactly what pets are going to our customers; by targeting California’s pet stores, this law will allow unregulated breeders to flourish as customers find other sources for their pets. AB 485 risks customers’ ability to get the best pet for their circumstances.”


By Amber Cavazos

Electronic dance music (EDM) has become increasingly popular within this past decade. This is why you probably hear quite a few EDM songs when you turn on the radio now.

Many EDM festivals, like EDC and Electric Forest, have also seen a huge rise in their ticket sales over the recent years. Other festivals, such as Coachella and Lollapalooza, have also been incorporating more EDM artists in their lineups just to satisfy more people despite not being known for their dance music.

EDM has gone through various stages to finally become what you know recognize as electronic music. It was influenced by 1960’s rock and funk, but it really started to come together in the 70’s thanks to all of the experimentation that was going on (music experimenting, that is).

The tubular 80’s was when EDM took off and made it big. Artists like Michael Jackson and Depeche Mode played with the mainstream appeal of that dancing beat and made history for the genre.

There are now a ton of artists that dabble in the EDM space, but not many of them make it big. One artist that’s on his way to success though is Don Dirty. He also goes by DJ 4KO when performing with Famous DJ Agency.

Don Dirty, also known as DJ 4KO, specializes in EDM. Photo by Inner Eye Photography

Don Dirty, also known as DJ 4KO, specializes in EDM. Photo by Inner Eye Photography

Don Dirty performed at Inovativ Event’s Nova Fest on October 13. Nova Fest is a “Mini Festival style show” and was held at Uptown Bar and Grill in Long Beach.

The newest Inovativ festival featured three stages, not including the exclusive fourth VIP stage, and over 28 of Southern California’s most prominent rising artists.

If you were among the unlucky souls that missed this event, I will fill you in because I really can’t stop raving about how fun it was.

The festival was Halloween themed since it was on Friday the 13th. Each stage had its own theme too, which was amazing to see, especially for a smaller festival.

The main stage had a huge LED screen which added to the ambiance of the event. I almost forgot that I was in Long Beach for a second.

Don Dirty took the stage at around 10PM and the crowd went crazy. I might be a tad bit biased, but I honestly enjoyed Don Dirty’s set the most. It was evident that he put a lot of time and effort in his set and I would not expect anything less from one of Famous DJ Agency’s more exclusive DJs.

Medicare Advantage plan shopping misconceptions and how to avoid them

By Rick Beavin, Market President, Humana

The Medicare annual election period takes place from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. It’s a time for people with Medicare to make important decisions about their health care – just ask the 17.7 million people who decided on a Medicare Advantage plan in 2016.

There are many factors to consider so that you get the Medicare plan that best meets your health and budget needs.

To navigate your health care options during this year’s annual enrollment period, it is important to remember what not to do.
When researching Medicare plans, people often focus on premiums and medical provider networks, but may not realize there’s more to consider. Knowing the benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, both of which offer enhancements to Original Medicare, will also be pivotal in your decision making.

While Medicare Advantage provides the same coverage as Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans often also include predictable copayments, lower or no deductibles, Part D prescription drug coverage, out-of-pocket limits for financial protection, and low or even zero monthly plan premiums.
Some of these plans offer additional features designed to meet members’ needs, such as dental, hearing and vision coverage, a nurse advice line available 24 hours a day/7 days a week and fitness programs.
Here are five common hiccups Medicare beneficiaries may experience when considering their options in search of a Medicare Advantage plan that will help them achieve better health and well-being:

1.) Your monthly payments are not the only thing to consider. While it’s tempting to gravitate to a $0 or low-premium monthly plan, it’s easy to overlook extra costs that can be incurred down the road, such as for hospital stays and medical procedures. After you analyze your previous year’s plan and assess the most affordable option for the coming year, consider the total value of the Medicare plan you select, along with your health, medical and budget needs for the coming year.

2.) Your drug coverage is not the same everywhere. Surprisingly, drug prices can vary depending on your location, pharmacy and how much you’ve used your prescription benefits over the course of the year. Be diligent by making a list of your medications; researching drug formularies – the list of drugs a Medicare prescription plan covers; and considering mail-order as you evaluate your prescription drug plan options. Some plans may offer lower costs if certain pharmacies are used.

3.) Your plan is not just for medical visits or emergencies. If you are living with a chronic condition, you may want to look for plans offering personalized care in the forms of health coaching, education and support by registered nurses and other health professionals. Many Medicare Advantage programs also offer benefits, such as fitness programs, to help members maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

4.) You may not need the same plan as your spouse/significant other. Health needs vary, and what works in your Medicare Advantage plan may not be the best option for your spouse. It’s important for the two of you to sit down and assess your different health needs, health care providers and if your doctors will be covered in your plan. This ensures your Medicare plan makes sense for your individual health, budget and lifestyle.

5.) You’re not on your own in making this decision. Utilize resources, such as a licensed Medicare health insurance agent, or, to help identify the best plan for you. Starting in October, you can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY: 1-877-486-2048 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 2018 Medicare plan information. Or you can call Humana at 1-888-204-4062 (TTY users can use 711).

Understanding the resources and tools at your disposal will allow you to take “advantage” of all the benefits Medicare plans have to offer in 2018.

PIH Health brings therapy dog program to Downey hospital

Doc, a female brindle puggle, is one of PIH Health's 15 active therapy dogs.

Doc, a female brindle puggle, is one of PIH Health's 15 active therapy dogs.

DOWNEY – PIH Health has announced the launch of its volunteer pet therapy program at PIH Health Hospital - Downey.

The therapy program has expanded since it first started at PIH Health Hospital - Whittier in 2001 with one active therapy dog. Currently, the program has grown to 15 therapy dogs, along with their volunteer handlers.
“Our pet therapy teams consist of a PIH Health volunteer and a dog that has passed a rigorous course from a recognized canine training organization,” says Marianne Cota, CAVS, director of PIH Health Volunteer Services. “Dogs must also have passed a veterinary inspection and be up to date on all shots.”
Pet therapy dogs are groomed within 24 hours prior to a hospital visit. While on campus, dogs must remain on a leash. Volunteers are also required to follow proper hygiene between patient visits.
“Patients, along with PIH Health staff and physicians, have expressed gratitude for the PIH Health Pet Therapy program and regularly request visits or stop along the halls of the hospital to hug the pet therapy dogs,” says Cota.
Studies have shown pet therapy visitation programs provide benefits to both patients and staff alike, including reduced blood pressure and heart rate, improved physical functioning, decreased stress and anxiety, enhanced pain management, improved communication, and a sense of well-being.
Those interested in volunteering their dog’s services can submit an application for the PIH Health Pet Therapy program online at PIHHealth.Org/Volunteer.
Therapy dogs visit most patient units at PIH Health’s Whittier and Downey campuses, including those receiving chemotherapy in the Radiation/Oncology Center. The dogs also visit patients in the Emergency Department.

Norwalk woman chosen for inaugural UCLA alumni scholarship

NORWALK -- The Southeast Bruins, a UCLA alumni association for southeast Los Angeles County, have awarded their first-ever "Southeast Bruins Scholarship."

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The inaugural recipient is Jennifer Tang of Norwalk. Jennifer is a Biology major and started this fall as a freshman and plans to graduate in 2021. 

The Southeast Bruins Board of Directors and its Scholarship Committee wish to thank all of the donors and everyone else who helped make the scholarship possible. An event is being planned where donors will be recognized and can meet Jennifer. 

Known officially as the UCLA Alumni Los Angeles Southeast Network, the Southeast Bruins network is officially sanctioned by UCLA and strives to create a sense of community among the region's more than 5,000 UCLA alumni, family, and friends.

This year's Southeast Bruins board members include Ricardo Perez (president, '04), Sergio Valenzuela (vice president), Jonathan Sanabria (treasurer), Tiffani Prater (secretary), Maywood Councilmember Eddie De La Riva (board member), Carlos Salas (board member), Giselle Del Carmen (board member), Miguel Duarte (immediate past president), and Daniel Fail (UCLA alumni affairs liaison) .  

For more information about the events or the group, or to get involved, please contact Ricardo Perez at 

About Jennifer: 

Why did you choose UCLA?
I chose UCLA because of its academics and its diverse campus community.

What are your academic and career aspirations?
I aim to attend medical school and become a general doctor in hopes of traveling and practicing my profession out in the world. I want to either join the peace corps or maybe the army as a medical doctor.

What excites you about UCLA?
I'm most excited for the college experience: finding myself, making new friends, and pursuing my passion in the sciences and pre-health.

What does this scholarship mean to you?
This scholarship means a lot to me as a student who comes from a low-income background. I was worried about costs and though financial aid from UCLA alumni donors, FAFSA, and UCLA itself, I was able to attend the college of my choice without any burden on me or my family.

Final thoughts?
Dear Southeast Los Angeles Alumni Network:  Thank you so much for donating to and supporting UCLA students like me; students who have the aspirations, but not the help they need to achieve it. This scholarship only further motivates me to reach my goals and succeed in school because if there is someone out there who supports me in my endeavors as much as you do, then I have no reason to not believe in myself and achieve my dreams. Thank you.

St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy holding grand reunion Oct. 28

DOWNEY -- St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy will hold its third annual Grand Reunion on Saturday, Oct. 28, at California Country Club in Whittier. 

The night includes dinner, live music, an alumni hall of fame induction, and silent auction to benefit the Warrior Scholarship Fund. 

This year's event will honor Rick Adelman (class of 1964) and Denise Diaz (class of 2004).

Adelman played in the NBA before enjoying a long career as a basketball coach. Diaz was elected to the South Gate city council earlier this year.

Tickets are $70 and can be purchased online at

From Bob Hertzberg: Let’s follow Kentucky, but only when convenient

By Esperanza “Espie” Free

California State Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) has logged some serious miles in his endless journey to try to find a state he can hitch his no-bail wagon onto.  

First, he touted New Jersey’s pretrial system as the model for California. 

Bob Hertzberg, right.

Bob Hertzberg, right.

But when New Jersey’s nine-month old experiment began crumbling, Hertzberg turned his attention to Washington, DC as the model for California. 

But his infatuation with DC didn’t last long. When Washington, DC police chief Cathy L. Lanier was deciding to transition to the head of security for the National Football League, she told the Washington Post that the city’s pretrial system “is beyond broken… You can’t police the city if the rest of the justice system not accountable.” The Post wrote, “Lanier has previously expressed frustration with the criminal justice system and said it allows for repeat offenders to be released.”  

After the Lanier’s comments, Hertzberg then high-tailed it down to the greener pastures of Kentucky, a state he is now trumpeting as latest model for California. 

Wait a second. Kentucky? Isn’t this one of California’s pariah states? After all, just a year ago Hertzberg voted for Assembly Bill 1887 – a measure to ban California public officials from traveling to and patronizing states like Kentucky over gender equality issues. Specifically, Hertzberg supported a bill that would:

“Prohibit a state agency and the Legislature from requiring any of its employees, officers, or members to travel to, or approving a request for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to, any state that, after June 26, 2015, has enacted a law that voids or repeals, or has the effect of voiding or repealing, existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression or has enacted a law that authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, as specified, subject to certain exceptions.”

With Hertzberg’s AB 1887 vote, he was vilifying Kentucky’s branches of government for failing to ‘protect the civil rights and prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, among other characteristics.’ 

On Aug. 23, Sen. Hertzberg lead a rally in support of SB 10 on the north steps of the California State Capitol where Hertzberg stated, “I just came back from Kentucky last week and I sat in a court room where there were a hundred dispositions and I watched people for six dollars a day, get home monitoring system.”   

Yet never mind the ethics and moral conviction. With political expediency again a priority for a desperate Hertzberg, Kentucky is no longer a backward, wayward state but a progressive one with regard to justice.

Even if we ignore the “moral failings” of Kentucky’s government, their pretrial system is a terrible model for California. Judges and prosecutors in Kentucky criticize the state’s pretrial system saying that it is bad for crime victims and public safety. Fayette County’s prosecutor has gone so far as to have bumper stickers printed saying, “catch and release is for fish, not felons.”  

If the Kentucky system is so great, why is the Louisville jail overcrowded, housing nearly 2,300 inmates with only 1,800 beds?

This is as shameless at it is embarrassing. You can’t have it both ways, Bob. 

Esperanza “Espie” Free is a local leader in Norwalk, working with local schools, law enforcement agencies and local community organizations to help parents, teenagers and families in need. Such programs include training domestic violence counselors and working with inmate outreach and prison ministry programs. 

Friends of the Downey Library's October auction items

DOWNEY – The Friends of the Downey City Library holds monthly silent auctions to raise money for library programs. The October auction items include:


Southern Californialand – Mid-Century Culture in Kodachrome” (a wide ranging look at the things that were hip in the mid 50’s. Downey and several other communities are represented)

The Devil’s Triangle” (a mystery from the “Brits in the FBI series” of Coulter & Ellison);

The World’s Most Haunted Places” and “Haunted Hollywood” (two books about hauntings around the world);

The Who’s Tommy-The Musical” (the ultimate book of the 25-year phenomenon of Tommy, an outstanding rock opera that has become a rock classic);

Nigelia Bites” (Nigelia Lawson symbolizes all that is sumptuous and pleasurable about food);

Vampires-Encounters with the Undead” (draws upon both fact and fiction to introduce you to historical vampires, folkloric vampires, Hollywood vampires, city and country vampires and many others);

Through the Tempests Dark and Wild-A Story of Mary Shelley” (the creator of Frankenstein wrote many other chilling fireside tales of lost love and drowned sailors);

Georgia O’Keefe” (a comprehensive volume of 108 color plates accompanied by text written by the artist);

The 50th Anniversary Pictorial History-The wizard of Oz” (two volumes cover casts, scripts, inside stories, beautiful illustrations, and lots of candid photographs plus a VHS tape about Garland’s life);

The Samurai-The Philosophy of Victory” (extracts from Samurai manuals and literature for a comprehensive picture of the Samurai);

Beatles-A Private View” (Robert Freeman’s famous portraits of John, Paul, George and Ringo make this book a unique collectors item);

SPORT Magazine Collection (July ’68-Hank Aaron; July ’69-Tony Conigliaro; September ’69-Chicago Cubs; May ’70-Tom Seaver; June ’70-Harmon Killebrew; August ’70-Hank Aaron).

Items have opening bids from $5-$8 and are on display in the library lobby. Bids can be made through noon, Saturday, Oct. 28, on cards in the Friend’s Bookstore located in the young adult section of the library.

Lakewood native serves in Navy’s “silent service” half a world away

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By Lt. Eileen Suarez, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SANTA RITA, GUAM - A 2010 Mayfair High School graduate and Lakewood native is serving in the U.S. Navy’s silent service as part of a crew working aboard one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, USS Chicago.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Thompson is a sonar technician serving aboard the Guam-based submarine, one of 40 Los Angeles-class submarines making it the backbone of the submarine force.

A Navy sonar technician is responsible for the safety of the ship. They are the eyes and ears of the boat when they are underway.

“My family taught me perseverance. It took me three years to get into the Navy and because of my perseverance I made it.,” said Thompson. “My cousin is in the military and he is the one who got me into submarines. He and I have always had similar interests, and if he liked it then I knew I would as well.”
With a crew of 130, this submarine is 360 feet long and weighs approximately 6,900 tons. A nuclear-powered propulsion system helps push the submarine through the water at nearly 30 mph.

Attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.

“Guam is a unique homeport with the missions we conduct and the high caliber of Sailors we have stationed here,” said Cmdr. Brian Turney, Chicago’s commanding officer. “My crew in particular is incredibly talented, and I am proud of the hard work and dedication they show each and every day.”

According to Navy officials, submariner sailors are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy. The training is highly technical and each crew has to be able to operate, maintain, and repair every system or piece of equipment on board.  Regardless of their specialty, everyone also has to learn how everything on the sub works and how to respond in emergencies to become “qualified in submarines” and earn the right to wear the coveted gold or silver dolphins on their uniform.

“Getting the submarine warfare pin has been my greatest accomplishment. It defines you within the Navy as someone who can be trusted to do the right thing,” said Thompson. “Your shipmates can sleep at night with you on watch.”

Challenging submarine living conditions actually build strong fellowship among the crew, Thompson explained. The crews are highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions.  It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

“Being in the Navy has made me more well-rounded person and I have been able to see the world in a different view,” added Thompson. “I have been in Guam three years and my favorite part of being here is enjoying the island life.”

Total value of Downey real estate increased by $540 million last year

Photo by Pam Lane, Downey Daily Photos

Photo by Pam Lane, Downey Daily Photos

DOWNEY -- The total value of Downey real estate increased by $540 million last year, a 5.1% jump, according to data included in the Los Angeles County Assessor's 2017 annual report, which was released last week

The report reflects strong economic growth and a record-setting increase in the assessed value of all taxable real property and business personal property in the County of Los Angeles.

The report includes an updated ranking of the county’s 88 cities, including the highest valued cities and those with the highest percentage change from the prior year.
“The 2017 Annual Report helps the public easily access information about the Office of the Assessor, including how property values in each area of the county changed during the last year,” said L.A. County Assessor Jeffrey Prang.
The 2017 Assessment Roll provides a comprehensive view of the strength of the Los Angeles County real estate market. It reveals that in the last year, every city in Los Angeles County recorded an increase in assessed valuation compared to 2016.  

“I am pleased to report that the 6.04% increase in assessed property values in Los Angeles County represents the seventh consecutive year of growth,” said Prang.

The net assessed value, (excluding non-profit, homeowners’, and disabled veterans exemptions, and other State exemptions) is $1.416 trillion, $80.6 billion greater than in 2016.
The top five highest valued cities for 2017 are the City of Los Angeles, with an assessed valuation of $568 billion (6.6% increase), Long Beach ($54.0 billion, 5.0% increase), Santa Monica ($34.4 billion, 3.8% increase), Beverly Hills ($31.9 billion, 9.1% increase), and Santa Clarita ($30.7 billion, 7.1% increase).

The top three fastest growing cities in the county in 2017 were El Segundo at 11.6% growth, Hawaiian Gardens at 10.9%, and Avalon at 9.3%. The growth is attributed to a strong real estate market and increasing demand for new multi-family residential properties.