Letter to the Editor: In defense of Jim Rodriguez

Dear Editor:
After reading the article about the new Marriott hotel, I couldn’t help but notice the hypocrisy of the Patriot journalist Alex Dominguez. 

He started his article about saying Planning Commission Chairman Jim Rodriguez was nitpicking with minutia comments, then ended his article by stating that the project met “the official requirement.”

That, in fact, was the whole point of the extended “nitpicking” deliberation. The city zoning parking requirement was 227 spaces and the city staff was asking the planning commission for an exception to reduce the number to 159.  That’s 68 less spaces than required.

Thank goodness someone is paying attention and nitpicking details. The Patriot reporter Alex certainly wasn’t.
Cheri Eads

Dear Editor:
I attended the planning commission meeting on February 15 on the Marriott Hotel.

I’d like to start out by thanking Planning Commissioner Chairman Jim Rodriguez for his diligence in looking out for people’s safety (lights in back of hotel) and noise from the train. With social media, people may not want to stay there if safety and noise is a concern. Then we’ll end up with another vacant building deteriorating and vandalized. 

I’m glad that Commissioner Rodriguez has the time to dedicate to looking into “minute details” as he is looking out for the city and its residents instead of just accepting poor standards.
Renee Mills

Dear Editor:
I attended this meeting and Jim Rodriguez was doing his diligence asking pertinent questions to the senior city planner about an important project in our city. 

I was happy to see a planning chairman caring enough for his city to “drag out” the meeting while making sure our city gets the best possible outcome. 

In the future please don’t allow staff to write stupidly about important civic happenings. It cheapens your questionable value as a news organization. 
Doug Anderson

Shared Stories: The Courtship of Juan and Ligaya

Lisa Filler tells the dramatic story of how her mother and father met and married during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II. 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 Lisa Filler

My mother Ligaya had suitors of different kinds: a doctor, a school supervisor and an engineer, but nobody really became her boyfriend.

In 1940 Ligaya got a teaching job near Manila in a village called Welfareville. This village was created for orphan children, children of parents with contagious diseases, and delinquent boy and girls. This is the place and time where my parents met. 

Ligaya and all single employees were provided with lodging in the dormitory. The assistant principal, Julia Diokno, was assigned to lodge in the Home Economic building and take care of school supplies. Julia asked Ligaya to accompany her especially at night.  

One day a young man came and introduced himself as Juan, the half-brother of Julia. Their mother, Pastora Banaag, had been left a widow with two daughters, Julia and Tentay. 
Pastora had run away and left her two daughters with her strict brother who took care of her when her husband died. Nothing was known about how Pastora lived for 10 years, until she moved to Cavite City with a baby boy, Juan, who was born in Tuy Batangas. 

Pastora had been earning her living by cooking and selling food. One day she asked her neighbors, an elderly couple, Leonida Ayroso and Mr. Filler, to watch Juan while she went to the market. She did not come back. 

This elderly couple did not have any children and now they were left with a baby boy they hardly knew. Out of their own kindness they adopted the baby and named him Juan Ayroso Filler. Mr. Filler worked in the US Air Force in Subic Bay. 

When Juan was 6 years old, Mr. Filler died. Leonida was elderly and did not have experience earning a living. The little boy Juan started to earn a living by carrying wood and water to neighbors and doing other errands.  

When Juan enrolled to go to school, the teachers helped Leonida seek a pension from the US Air Force. Juan continued to earn a living by distributing newspapers before going to school. Leonida adopted a niece to take care of her. 

Juan graduated Valedictorian from Cavite High School and got a scholarship to the University of the Philippines. He was one of the graduating classes of Mining Engineers in 1941 when the Japanese bombed and conquered the Philippines. 

The university was closed and Juan looked for his haft sister Julia to stay with and find job. He got a job in Welfareville as a security guard and stayed in one of the storerooms of the school. 
Juan, Ligaya and Julia practically lived in one household, sharing the kitchen, dining and bathroom. Juan would help Ligaya in washing dishes and clothes and at the same time try to hold her hand (chancing). 

This continued and then later Juan would steal a kiss. Ligaya, who had never been kissed, liked it. One day a woman came looking for Juan. Juan took the woman to his room for several hours. Ligaya was hurt and told Julia that she will stop helping her since she has her brother to help her. 

Ligaya went to her dormitory. Juan tried to talk to Lher but she did not want to talk to him and avoided him. Juan was so in love with Ligaya that he asked the help of Ligaya’s brother Albert who was also working in Welfareville. 

Ligaya refused Albert’s help. When Ligaya was scheduled to visit her father in Pagsanjan, Juan asked Iking, a family friend of Ligaya, to help get him a chance to talk to Ligaya. They were able to visit Ligaya in her dormitory. 

As soon as Ligaya met them Juan fell on his knees crying for a chance to court her. Ligaya said, “No. You will not even pass my father’s criteria. You are not from the Pagsanjan and are eight years younger than me.”

Juan said, “I will face your father and introduce myself. I will go with you to Pagsanjan.”  Juan asked Iking to introduce him to Ligaya’s father. They took the same bus to Pagsanjan. 

Ligaya went directly to her grandmother’s house across from her father’s house while Iking and Juan went to the house of Ligaya’s father. Ligaya didn’t know what happened there. 

After several hours Juan and Iking came asking Ligaya to sign a marriage license. Ligaya was so surprised. Juan and Iking explained to Ligaya that her father asked questions about Juan and Iking’s recommendation. 

He asked Juan’s intention. Juan said, “I love Ligaya and want to marry her”. The father explained that with the war condition, it was scary to have single daughter. He heard of single women raped by the Japanese. So if Juan was ready to marry Ligaya, he could marry her. 
So Juan got the marriage license with the help of Iking. Everything was arranged. After Ligaya signed the marriage license, all the cousins started cooking and preparing an altar at the grandma’s house and called a priest to celebrate the wedding.

After the wedding Ligaya stayed at the grandmother’s house and Juan stayed at Iking’s house. The following day they had to go back to Manila. Iking got a room in a hotel owned by Ligaya’s cousin for Juan and Ligaya’s one-night honeymoon. 

Afraid that they may lose their jobs, they kept their marriage secret. Ligaya stayed in the dormitory, Juan continued staying in the school storeroom. When they told their secret to Julia, Julia said, “Do not be afraid to lose your job. You have to live together.”

Juan and Ligaya announced their marriage and rented an apartment. They did not lose their jobs. And the rest is history. 

Paging Dr. Frischer: Dulse

Fact is indeed stranger than fiction: picture a type of marine algae that tastes like bacon! It’s high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protein…and is fat free.


It’s called dulse (rhymes with pulse), and is available online (try Amazon) and at some Whole Foods markets. I bought this seaweed dried, in whole-leaf form, and fried it in a small amount of olive oil for about one minute on each side. The saltiness (it grows in salt water, after all), the nice crunch, the slight greasiness of the olive oil, and the flavor are definitely reminiscent of bacon.

My wife - let’s just say that she was highly skeptical – shared it with me, and even she enjoyed it! My office staff, typically more interested in chocolate than in marine vegetation, was enthusiastic as well. 

Dulse has been harvested and eaten, often in soups, in Northern Europe for hundreds of years or more. The earliest written accounts date back to the 15th century. Today, it is dried and sold for up to $90 a pound as a cooking ingredient or nutritional supplement, often in powder or flake form.

Bon Appétit suggests: To achieve that bacon-like effect, pan-fry some dried whole-leaf dulse with oil over medium-high heat until crisp, then slap it between two slices of bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise for a DLT. Eat raw or cooked dulse as a snack, or add it to sandwiches and salads.

At Oregon State University, researchers who were originally developing a super-food for abalone developed a new strain of dulse that grows very quickly and can be farmed. Chefs working with it have come up with a long list of recipes ranging from crackers and salad dressing to beer and ice cream.

What makes this seaweed exciting is that it isn’t difficult to produce, and the Oregon strain in particular could become an efficient and lucrative crop. Dulse has a shelf life of about ten days in the refrigerator, and can last a very long time in dried form. 

My conclusion is that dulse is tasty, nourishing, and has the potential to be a pretty flexible ingredient in recipes. If you are choosing nutritionally between bacon and seaweed…seaweed wins! 

John Yeager, Korean War veteran, passes away

Downey resident and Korean War veteran John Yeager passed away Feb. 8. He was 81. 

He was born July 27, 1935 to John and Bessie (Stricklin), (Hubbs), Yeager. He was the 14th of 15 children, including seven brothers and seven sisters.

He is survived by his son and daughter and five grandchildren; two sisters; and many nephews and nieces.

Services will be held Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. at the Memorial Chapel, Rose Hills Memorial Park. Graveside services will follow.

Letter to the Editor: Pedestrian safety

Dear Editor:

On many occasions, while driving through Downey, I have noticed people walking, running, riding bicycles or just standing in a street wearing dark clothing. This is dangerous. They are difficult to see.

If you are going out in the evening and will be a pedestrian or riding a bicycle, please wear something that can be easily seen by motorists. This advice comes from a man whose daily clothing is nearly all black, as I am a Catholic priest.

I know this is ironic, but even I wear a bright jacket if I am going to be out at night and walking.

Fr. John Higgins

Crime Report: Feb. 21, 2017

Friday, Feb. 10:
At 8:50 p.m., officers responded to the 760 block of Stewart & Gray Rd. regarding a residential burglary. The resident advised that unknown suspects had entered through an open window and took approximately $30,000 worth of misc. jewelry and an iPad. Detectives are investigating.

Sunday, Feb. 12:
At 2:00 p.m., officers responded to the downtown area regarding shots fired. Witness advised a male suspect stood at the intersection of Downey Ave. and 3rd St. and fired a handgun into the air. The suspect then fled in a vehicle. Officers located several
expended shell casings at the intersection. No one was injured as a result of this incident. Detectives are investigating.

Downey Library releases February auction items

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

The Undersea World of Wyland” (contains more than100 full color reproductions of the artist’s finest paintings, giving us a good look at the undersea world);

Swing and Jazz Collection” (includes the Smithsonian collection of Classic Jazz-5CD’s; Coltrane Legacy of 5 CD’s; a VHS tape of Thelonious Monk; and Big Swings Classics on CD);

One Hour Garden-How You Can Have a No-Fus, No-Work Garden” (shows you how to plan, create, plant and maintain our garden with a minimum of effort);

The Art of Andrew Wyeth” (over 100 color plates, many never reproduced in color before);

Hollywood Costume-Glamour! Glitter! Romance!” (dazzling, extravagant, costumes and the starts who wore them);

Just One Pot” (a great cookbook from Readers Digest for the busy mom or the gourmet cook-lots of pictures and history);

Quilts” (a lavishly illustrated edition that celebrates the beauty of antique quilts, with expert commentary on 70 masterworks of color and design gathered from museums and private collections);

Dali and Disney-Destino-The Story, Artwork,and Friendship Behind the Legendary Film” (few people know that the two were lifelong friends, working on a short animated film together, which was brought out in 2004-includes the history of that endeavor with all its art work);

Love-A Century of Love and Passion” (a walk through the 20th century with some of the most famous couples sharing how they see their relationships in light of today’s new standards);

Remember-Recollections and Photographs of the Beatles” (a book of rare photographs of the early Beatles by Paul McCartney’s brother proving they did not just “arrive”-there was a lot of work involved);

American Speed-From Dirt Track to Indy to NASCAR” (Life Magazine-intro by MarioAndretti-combines rare photos and vivid writing to capture the entire panorama of racing);

Dinosaurs-How They Lived and Evolved” (lavishly illustrated with diagrams, charts, and artistic reconstruction);

Items have opening bids from $6-$8 and are on display in the library lobby. Bids can be made through noon, Saturday, Feb. 25, on cards in the Friend’s Bookstore located in the young adult section of the library.

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.