Don Claude Brown

February 2, 1918 - January 28, 2017

Dr. Don C. Brown of Downey, Calif. Passed away at his home on Sat. Jan. 28, just 5 days before his 99th birthday. He lived at this residence with my mother since 1954.

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle is survived by his wife Eleanor, son David, daughter Sharon, 8 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren.

He was an Anesthesiologist at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, for many years, retiring at age 67.

He was an Avid Adventurer and excelled at World Class Mountain Climbing, Cycling, Marathons, Gymnastics, and Body Building. He was a good friend of Jack LaLanne and one of the last of the Muscle Beach gang. Other interests include Adventurer’s Club, Magic Castle, and the Circus.
He really lived a full and storied life and we are so Blessed to have had him for so long!
You are missed already Dear Daddy. We’ll see you in Heaven.

All our Love, Your Family

Angel Valentin de la Nuez Lopez passes away

DOWNEY – Angel Valentin de la Nuez Lopez passed away in Downey on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Angel is survived by his wife Lourdes, two daughters, Lourdes Yonce and Maria Clark, two sons-in-law, James Yonce and David Clark, granddaughter Kayla Solomon and her husband Joseph, grandsons Steven Lo Coco, Brandon and Matthew Clark and one great grandchild, Killian Michael Solomon.

Born on October 8, 1935 in Havana, Cuba, Angel escaped the communist regime of Fidel Castro in 1961 leaving behind his homeland, family and friends. Upon taking residence in the United States, he settled in Southern California, spending most of his lifetime in Downey. 

He made a name for himself as a master electrician, working for over 55 years in that trade.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Luyben Family Mortuary in Long Beach.

Shared Stories: Lessons from Grandma

Maria Gutierrez was the first-born of five children.  With the help of her sensitive grandmother, Maria overcame feelings of frustration brought on by responsibilities and hand-me-down clothes.   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 Maria Gutierrez
I wish I had said, “Thank you, Mom, for giving me four siblings.”  My first impressions were emotional reactions – feeling threatened by the presence of a new baby every time Mom came home from the hospital.

There were five of us by the time I was six. I felt neglected and overwhelmed with my role as a “babysitter,” obligated to help Mom care for my siblings. I helped with changing diapers and giving bottles.

During first grade, Grandma bought me easy, first-grade story books describing how siblings live in harmony.  My grandmother and God used these readers to change my feelings from rejection and resentment to acceptance.

During our childhood years when we lived with Grandma Delfina, she asked her sons, our uncles, to teach us baseball, volleyball, and tetherball skills. My siblings and I enjoyed playing volleyball with our neighborhood friends. 

Grandma and Mom gave us permission once a month to invite our friends over and enjoy at least two hours of a baseball or volleyball tournament in our large, asphalt backyard.  We each made a point of thanking Grandma Delfina with a kiss and a hug.

One evening, when I was thirteen, I was sitting all alone in Grandma’s downstairs dining room with tears running down my face.  I was gazing at four, large black trash bags filled with used clothing that Aunt Alice had given my sisters and me.  Since my cousins were larger in size, I knew that the used clothes would not fit us.

Surprisingly, Grandma Delfina walked in holding two grocery bags. I helped her carry one bag upstairs to her kitchen. She said, “Elena, I have something to give you that will make you happy.” I followed her to her bedroom, where she handed me four fashion magazines.

“Look through these magazines. You might find some outfits that you and your sisters would like. I am going to teach you to sew with the used clothing your aunt gave you.”

I hugged and kissed her for her understanding, moral support, and this ray of hope.  I saw these magazines and I could envision my sisters and I wearing those outfits.

Her kind gesture and compassion motivated me to major in Home Economics in junior high school.  The first class I registered for was Clothing and Domestic Skills, which consisted of basic sewing and effective housekeeping skills.

\Very early on Saturday mornings during our childhood, Grandma would gather us and show us how we were to help with household chores Grandma was affectionate, loving, and patient as she walked us through our chores.

We were rewarded once a month for our good work. Grandma would stop the Helms Bakery truck on Fridays and let us choose our favorite donut or cookie.

Grandma not only taught us domestic skills, she also taught us patience and love.  

Every year, one week before Christmas and one week before Easter, Grandma Delfina would invite my sisters (Carmela and Genie) and I to her upstairs kitchen to make sugar and chocolate cookies and cupcakes.  

I was in charge of mixing the ingredients for the cupcakes.  With the help of Grandma’s red hand mixer, I mixed the water, oil, eggs, and flour.

Then my sister Carmela would slowly pour the batter into the lined cupcake tins.  Once they were baked and allowed to cool, my sisters and I decorated the cakes with multicolored candy chips and candy glitter.

Grandma allowed us to each pick one cupcake to taste.  The cupcakes tasted so good that they made our eyes water and we gave Grandma a Thank you kiss and hug.

These were just a few of the many lessons that Grandma taught me.

Thank you, God, for giving me godly, virtuous women who taught me acceptance, gratitude, creativity, baking, sewing, cooking, domestic skills, patience, and love.

I pray that with God’s help, I will pass on these skills and virtues to my nieces and nephews.

Downey boys soccer facing Montbello in playoff opener

DOWNEY –   The Downey High School boys’ soccer team finished their regular season with an overall record of 16-6-2 and a S.G.V.L. record of 7-1-2. 

The Vikings will travel to Montebello (11-9-3, 8-1-1) to face the Oilers. Montebello is the Almont League champion and top league entry for postseason play. 

The winner of this C.I.F. Division One first round game will play the winner of the Palos Verdes at Millikan game.

Downey entered their final league game against Paramount with an undefeated record of 7-0-2. If Downey won that game, they would have been S.G.V.L. champions. The Vikings played hard but conceded a second half goal to the Pirates and fell to defeat 1-0. 

As a result, Paramount (8-0-2) is the S.G.V.L. champion and top league entry for postseason play. Downey is the second entry and cross-town rival Warren is the third entry, respectively. 
Coach Mires, his staff and players are all looking forward to postseason play.

■ The Downey High School girls’ soccer team finished their regular season with an overall record of 10-10-2 and a S.G.V.L. record of 7-3. 

Downey was the second place team from the S.G.V.L. behind cross-town rival Warren. The Paramount Lady Pirates finished third in S.G.V.L. play and also qualified for C.I.F. Division Three postseason play.

The Lady Vikings traveled to El Modena (9-7-5, 4-2) yesterday to play the Lady Vanguards in the first round of the C.I.F. Division Three playoffs. El Modena was a co-champion from the North Hills League with El Dorado.

The winner of the Downey/El Modena game will most likely play Bishop Amat (21-3) in the second round. Bishop Amat is the Del Rey League champion and top league entry for postseason play. The Lady Lancers will play the winner of the Lancaster at North Torrance wild card game in their first round game. 

Coach Fresquez, her staff and players are all looking forward to postseason play.

■ The Warren High School girls’ soccer team finished their regular season with an overall record of 12-8-3 and a S.G.V.L. record of 8-1-1. 

The Lady Bears are the 2017 San Gabriel Valley League champions. Cross-town rival Downey and Paramount finished league play in second and third places, respectively.

The Lady Bears hosted Newport Harbor (14-5-3, 5-5) in the first round of the C.I.F. Division Two playoffs yesterday (score unavailable at press time). Newport Harbor is a Sunset League at-large team. The winner of this game will play the winner of the Lakewood at Moorpark game in the second round. 

Coach Dussan, her staff and players all look forward to postseason play. 

■ The Warren High School boys’ soccer team finished their regular season with an overall record of 10-8-5 and a S.G.V.L. record of 6-3-2. 

The Bears qualified for C.I.F. Division One postseason play as the number three entry from the San Gabriel Valley League behind league champion Paramount and second place finisher, Downey.

Warren will travel to Edison of Huntington Beach later today. The Chargers finished their regular season with an overall record of 18-4-1 and a Sunset League record of 8-2. Edison was the Sunset League champion and top league entry for postseason play. 

Coach Pena, his staff and players are all looking forward to postseason play and making another run at a C.I.F. title.

■ The Warren High School girls’ basketball team finished their regular season with an overall record of 14-12 and a S.G.V.L. record of 5-5. 

The Lady Bears received an at-large bid to compete in the C.I.F. 2A playoff bracket. Warren finished league play tied for third with Gahr and behind cross-town rival Downey and Lynwood, respectively. 

Warren traveled to Garden Grove yesterday in their first round playoff game (score unavailable at press time). Garden Grove finished their regular season with an overall record of 17-9 and a Garden Grove League record of 7-3. The winner of the Warren/Garden Grove game will play the winner of the Carter at Lawndale game in the second round. 

Coach Palmer, her staff and players look forward to postseason play.

■ The Warren High School boys’ basketball team finished their regular season with an overall record of 10-16 and a S.G.V.L. record of 3-7. 

The Bears finished league play behind Dominguez, Gahr and Lynwood, respectively. Warren tied cross-town rival Downey for fourth place but did not qualify for postseason play. Coach Leflore and his staff will begin preparing for next season.

■ The Warren High School girls’ water polo team finished their season with an overall record of 13-9 and earned the San Gabriel Valley League championship. The Lady Bears hosted Westridge on Wednesday in the first round of the C.I.F. Division 3 playoffs (score unavailable at press time). Westridge finished their regular season with an overall record of 19-7 and were co-champions with Poly in the Prep League.  

Downey (14-9) and Cerritos (15-11) both qualified for postseason play as well from the San Gabriel Valley League and are competing in Division 6. Downey hosted Hacienda Heights Wilson (13-15) yesterday (score unavailable at press time). Hacienda Heights Wilson was the number two entry from the Valle Vista League. 

Coach Villa, his staff and players look forward to postseason play.

■ The Downey High School boys’ basketball team traveled to San Clemente Wednesday night to compete in the first round of the C.I.F. 1A playoffs (score unavailable at press time). 

The Vikings finished their regular season with an overall record of 14-13 and a S.G.V.L. record of 3-7. The Vikings finished league play tied for fourth place with cross-town rival Warren. Dominguez, Gahr, and Lynwood finished in first, second and third places, respectively. Downey received an at-large bid for postseason play.

The San Clemente Tritons finished their season with an overall record of 19-8 and a South Coast League record of 7-1. The Tritons entered Wednesday’s game on a seven game win streak. Downey defeated San Clemente last season at Downey 55-49 in the second round of the C.I.F. 1AA playoffs. 

■ The Downey High School girls’ basketball team finished their season with an overall record of 21-6 and a S.G.V.L. record of 9-1. 

The Lady Vikings earned the top overall S.G.V.L. seed due to their second round league win against Lynwood at Downey.

The Lady Vikings will host the winner of the Beckman at Arroyo Valley game on February 18. Beckman finished their regular season with an overall record of 13-13 and are the Pacific Coast League’s at-large entry. Arroyo Valley finished their regular season with an overall record of 24-2 and a San Andreas League record of 10-0. The Lady Hawks are the San Andreas League champions and number one league entry.

Downey enters postseason play on a nine-game winning streak and are currently ranked 104 in California. The Lady Vikings defeated Paramount 85-30 in their postseason finale last week. Downey’s Naelene Garcia set a school record when she made ten three-point field goals in that game. 

A shelter animal put down too soon

I do not know what discrimination means. I do not understand unworthiness or disappointment.  I do, however, understand loyalty and love. 

Not that my name matters anymore, just know I once was loved. I once belonged to a human who called me their own. I played and cuddled. I was man’s best friend. 

In my final days, I was turned away by countless humans because my owner didn’t want me anymore. I was dirty and skinny. I looked sick, but I wasn’t. All I wanted was some water, food, and kind hand to pet me. 

Instead I fed off dirt and rocks and did my best to keep warm through the rain. Then I was found by a kind stranger who thought I would be safe if I was taken into the Downey animal shelter. Little did I know that my final days were more like my final hours. 

My story began to be shared. Pleas for help to save me were in the works. I was on my way to be rescued. My name is A5031903. That’s what the shelter keeps calling me. I was placed on a table, maybe for a final check-up? What is this shot for? Maybe so I don’t get sick? My eyes are just so heavy… I think I’ll go to sleep now…

This is the story of A5031903, or as I call her, Hope. Each day  the Downey animal shelter makes the decision to kill animals for no reason other than over population. On Feb. 9, a sentence of death was carried out because of appearance. A5031903 was turned in on Feb. 8 by a kind stranger who trusted the shelter and instead was killed, despite having a rescue shelter ready to take her. 

She was starved and left roaming the streets looking for food, looking for kindness, looking for compassion. Maybe once she knew love from a human. She continued to trust the human race until we let her down by carrying out a sentence she did not deserve. 

A5031903 is not just a number, she’s a face with a name who only longed to live out her years growing old with a human who would love her and keep her safe. Instead, someone decided she was too sick to live because she had dirt and rocks in her stomach. 

I chose to name her Hope so that her story and the countless others who were also euthanized will bring hope to the other dogs currently living in the shelters who hope to be adopted. 

I hope you will share her story and save a life by adopting. Please spay and neuter your pets to avoid overpopulations in shelters.

Letter to the Editor: Criminal illegal immigrants not welcome

Dear Editor:

As was widely reported in national and local media, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested criminal illegal aliens residing in cities throughout Los Angeles County, including the city of Downey, this past weekend. 

According to ICE representatives, these operations are routine and have been carried out for years. 

The operation targeted criminal illegal aliens, not those whose only crime was to have entered the country illegally or overstayed a visa. 

Of the 180 individuals arrested this weekend in Los Angeles County, 160 had committed felonies, while the remaining had committed misdemeanors, according to ICE. 

Felonies include such crimes as murder, rape, robbery and driving under the influence. Illegal aliens committing such serious crimes are a danger to society, including those of us who live in the City of Downey. These criminal illegal aliens must be deported for public safety. 

ICE is welcome in my city of Downey; criminal illegal aliens are not.

Brian Heyman

Letter to the Editor: Planning Commission

Dear Editor:

The Planning Commission's Facebook at minimum needs to be an open page for anyone of the public to view.

Commissioners deliberate in open public forum and are not permitted to give an opinion in advance of any item to be discussed as such commissioner/person will compromise the process and conflict themselves. Ex parte communication is not allowed.

There was an instance when Mayor Fernando Vasquez stated his position prior to a hearing item and in a sense compromised the city's position, prompting a warning to Mayor Vasquez and alerting the other council members that such ex-parte communication is not allowed. 
A closed Facebook page is due to lack of knowledge on the commissioner's part but none the less is an easy fix and can be and should be corrected as soon as possible. 

Where is the city in all of this? Why are they not paying more attention to things like this? With social media being the way it is, perception is everything and the perception these new commissioners are giving is a bad one for our city.

Jessica Alarcon

Alternative Medicine: Emotional Body

Some may say we are living under turbulent times. As a collective human species, we’re constantly separated by man. The color of our skin, religion, perspective and social status seems to be the cause of separation and much inflicted emotional stress.

Every emotion our body experiences is a natural and instinctive state of mind that derives from one’s circumstances, mood and relationship with others. The Emotional Body is the bioplastic vehicle in which said emotions are experienced and expressed by the body. (Reference: “The human energy field”.)

Today let’s focus on maintaining our emotional coolness. Imagine being the eye of the hurricane during a chaotic hurricane. Seems almost impossible, right? Not really! All we need to do is calm the emotional body prior to speaking, typing and acting out. You will find the following exercise valuable in the sense that it will provide you with an opportunity to clear the emotions. Making decisions from a calm and collective stance and NOT an emotionally laced attitude is priceless tremendously productive.

Practice time! When situations that do not align to your ideals pop up, practice the following follow: 

-    Stop!
-    Focus on your breathing. Inhale gently and exhale gently. 
-    Slowly count to 4. Each repetition slower and in tune with your breathing.
-    Remind yourself that we are all uniquely different and in the process of evolving. 
-    Do this as many times as needed until clarity comes in.

Keep in mind that the purpose of this article is not to justify any person’s reasoning, nor to put blame. The purpose is to empower you the reader to turn inwards and rediscover your true self. Focusing on others is a waste of precious inner energy. Be the great person, soul and human you were born to be!

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 Compassion. 

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

Erick Kohler

October 8, 1930 - January 10, 2017

Erick Kohler, 86, of Santa Maria, passed away January 10, 2017, after several years of living with dementia and Parkinson’s. He is survived by his wife, Judith; children Jennifer Kantorowski (Eric), Eric Kohler (Kelly), and Jason Kohler; and grandchildren Lucas, Chase, Fiona, and Phoebe.

Erick was born in 1930, in Java, Indonesia, known as the Dutch East Indies at the time. He was a prisoner of war twice, first in WWII by the Japanese during their occupation of the island and then by the Indonesians during their struggle for independence. After living in The Netherlands for an extended period of time his family immigrated to the U.S. in 1959.

He and Judith married in Pasadena in 1969 and they lived a comfortable life in Downey for four decades prior to moving to Santa Maria. Erick worked in inventory management for most of his life and was very well liked amongst his peers. His family and his work were his life, and he often put his wife and kids’ interests in front of his own.

A truly patient, charming, and reserved man, Erick drew strength from his childhood experiences during the war and still maintained a caring, fun-loving, and giving spirit toward others. While his quiet and agreeable nature kept him from limelight, he had a voice and passions that ran deep. Those who knew him best and longest could attest to this and his love of photography (a former side job), music, and food.

Erick was his family’s sweet rock, and they appreciated it all and love him so. They are relieved he is at peace now and miss him dearly.

Crime Report: 2/13/17

Friday, February 3:

At approximately 5:30 p.m., the victim was walking on Arnett Ave. near Gurley St. when
two male suspects approach and one of them pointed a handgun at him. The suspect
demanded the victim’s shoes and cellphone. The suspects then fled in an awaiting
vehicle. Detectives are investigating.

Saturday, February 4:
At approximately 1:45 a.m., an unknown suspect fired approximately 20 rifle rounds
toward the residence at the 9300 block of Cedartree. The suspect fled in a vehicle and
there were no injuries. Detectives are investigating.

At 3:05 p.m., officers responded to Pronto Pizza (8304 Imperial Hwy) in regard to an
armed robbery. The suspects entered the location wearing hoodies and armed with a
handgun. When the suspects demanded money, the employee walked to the back
room out of fear. The suspects then fled the location without any loss. Detectives are

Sunday, February 5:
At 3:45 p.m., officers responded to Bradley’s plastic bag Co. (9130 Firestone Blvd.)
regarding a possible burglary. When officers arrived, they observed the suspect
carrying a box out of the location. The suspect refused officers’ commands and climbed
onto the roof. Officers accessed the roof and arrested the suspect for burglary.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., Warren High School administration responded to the police
station regarding a threat posted on social media. The threat consisted of photos of a
replica airsoft gun and statements not to attend school the following day. The
investigation revealed the suspect was a Warren High School student. The suspect
admitted to making the threat and stated it was a dare. The suspect was arrested and
booked for making the terrorist threat.

Downey's Robert Calderon provides healthcare for U.S. Navy sailors

SAN DIEGO - A 2007 Warren High School graduate and Downey, California native is serving in the U.S. Navy at Surface Warfare Medicine Institute (SWMI).

Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Calderon serves as a hospital corpsman at the San Diego based training center. According to Navy officials, the institute’s purpose is providing medical education, operational training and certification for medical, dental and fleet personnel ashore and afloat.

“I am currently a student in the independent duty corpsman program,” said Calderon. “I like the physical challenge of this program. I am learning a lot of things and feel like I've grown as a corpsman.”

The sailors who are part of Navy medicine are the most highly trained, educated and specialized force in history, said Navy officials. The role of Navy medicine in preserving the healthy and fighting readiness of that force has never been greater or more critical.

 "The Surface Warfare Medical Institute teaches 13 courses to over 800 students annually,” said Cmdr. Steven Parks, Officer in Charge of the Surface Warfare Medical Institute. “The training we provide enables our Physicians, Nurses, Medical Service Corps Officers, and Corpsman to directly support the Navy and Marine Corps combat teams.  The leadership, mentorship and influence that our staff has on our students is second to none.”

Parks added that he is proud that SWMI's mission will have long lasting positive impact and benefits to Navy Medicine for years to come.

Calderon said he feels honored to be able to serve at a command that is continually raising the bar in healthcare.

“As a student I believe the instructors are very supportive and good at their jobs,” said Calderon.”They are a good resource for students now and after graduating the program.”

Those who serve in Navy medicine understand that they play a key role in meeting the missions of our armed forces, according to Navy officials.

“The Navy is the only job I've ever had,” added Calderon. “I would not know what to do outside of the Navy. I was born in Ecuador and this was my calling.”

Letter to the Editor: Bookstore in Downey

Dear Editor: 

Last week’s Facebook comments included one lamenting the fact that we do not have a bookstore in Downey.

While we do not have a Barnes & Noble or a Pasadena Vroman’s, we do have a wonderful “used books” store operated by the volunteers with the non-profit, Friends of the Downey City Library. It is located in the library near the young adult section. 

There is a wide selection of paperbacks available for $.50 or less and hardbacks for $1-$3. Magazines are available for just as reasonable a price. In addition we have gift cards for all occasions, most for $1, and, if you need a flash drive while you’re working in the library, we have that, too, along with earbuds and Tootsie Pops for your sweet tooth! 

We receive hundreds and hundreds of used books, magazines, even CD’s on occasion, as donations from library patrons and supporters. Occasionally we have special sales of collections, perhaps on the Civil War or gardening for example. Once a month we have a silent bid auction on a selection of 12 books/items, which are on display in the lobby of the library. The Patriot has been a great support in announcing our sales in the paper. All proceeds go to a number of library programs, including their wonderful summer children’s program. 

In addition, a café just opened at the north end of the library where you can sit and enjoy your favorite specialty or non-coffee drinks while you munch on a burrito, wrap, panini or enjoy some bakery goods. So, drop in to your city library, which you will find a very busy place, and browse through our used bookstore!

Nancy Krusbe
Friends of the Downey City Library