Financial Partners announces 3 new vice presidents

DOWNEY – Financial Partners Credit Union (FPCU), serving over 80,000 members in California, announced the appointment of three new vice president positions in key departments over the last month.

The leadership positions in Business Intelligence, Consumer Lending, and Contact Center will “further strengthen Financial Partners’ delivery of services to its members,” company officials said.

As Vice President of Business Intelligence, Andre Iervolino will oversee data strategy and analytics, helping the organization optimize its member acquisition, engagement and growth strategies, while ensuring effective operations and risk management.

Iervolino has over 15 years experience within the financial industry in analysis, research and business intelligence roles.

Steve Joffe joins Financial Partners as Vice President of Consumer Lending. In this role, he will lead the organization’s consumer lending growth strategy and manage credit risk and product development efforts.

A seasoned financial veteran, Joffe comes to Financial Partners from Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) and has been in banking and credit union operations for over 25 years.

Now overseeing Financial Partners’ Member Contact Center, Dennis Donnelly spent 13 years at Service Credit Union focused on improving the member experience.

In his Vice President role, Donnelly will provide strategic direction to the contact center serving members nationwide and the remote teller center serving members in 21 branch offices.

“Andre, Steve and Dennis bring over 50 years combined experience to Financial Partners,” said Nader Moghaddam, Financial Partners Credit Union’s President and CEO. “With a focus on innovation and the best possible member experience, each of these leaders will further our commitment to providing unparalleled benefits and products to our diverse and growing membership.”

Letter to the Editor: Campaign cash

Dear Editor:

On November 6, registered voters in the fourth district, which takes in the northeast part of Downey, will have the chance to elect a new council person to replace Fernando Vasquez, who is termed out after eight years in office.

Downey Realtor and attorney Carie Uva, and emergency preparedness manager Claudia Frometa, are vying for the office.

Both candidates have filed FPPC Form 460 with the Downey City Clerk reporting campaign contributions each received for the period of July 1 through Sept. 30.

This letter addresses the donations to Ms. Frometa’s campaign, which are primarily from business interests.

They include Best Buy Tire Center ($2,000), 4 Tires on Line ($2,000), Meghrig Stradley ($2,000), Champion Dodge ($2,000), CalMet Services ($2,000), Paramount Resource Recycling ($1,000), Marcar Real Estate ($1,000), RMI International ($650), Joseph’s Bar and Grill ($500) and Hernandez Carpet Buyers ($500).

RMI International is the security business owned by current Downey Mayor Pro Tem Rick Rodriguez, who has endorsed Frometa.

Outgoing Councilman Fernando Vasquez donated $2,000 left over from his 2014 campaign coffer. He has also endorsed Frometa.

Other individual contributions of note include $500 from businessman Tony Abboud; and $500 from former City Councilman Mario Guerra.

It takes money to successfully run for political office. Analyzing where that money comes from and the amount donated, can help to inform the voter, as it indicates the political interests of the candidate.

Candidate Frometa appears to have the interests of business and her fellow politicians in mind.

Remember the often quoted line from “All the President’s Men,” and “follow the money” before casting your vote in the fourth district council race.

(In full disclosure, the writer donated $500 to Frometa’s campaign.)

Brian Heyman

Downey Library's October auction items

DOWNEY -- The Friends of the Downey City Library holds monthly silent-bid auctions to raise money for library programs. The book auction items this month include:

Disney DVD Collection — Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Snow White, and the Lion King.

“Columbus - For Gold - God and Glory”
— Christopher Columbus was a far more complex person than we normally hear about in our history books. What was his life like, how did he actually end up in the Americas? J. Dyson tells an interesting story

“Mythology - The DC Comics art of Alex Ross”
— Mythology brings together the best loved comic characters to the world and takes you inside the studio for a behind-the-scene look at the fascinating creative process.

“Baseball - An Illustrated History”
and ”Players of Cooperstown - Baseball's Hall of Fame” — Two great books, just in time for the playoffs. Hundreds of pictures, stories and statistics.

“Light's Out, Night's Out”
— As we sleep another world wakes up. See the creatures of the night as they wake up and walk, run, and spread their wings. Nice animation and charming verse.

“The Beatles - The Biography”
It's all here: the highs, lows, love, rivalry. awe, jealousy drugs, tears, thrills, and the magic never to be repeated. A very close look an amazing group.

“Weird Hauntings - True Tales of Ghostly Places”
— A collection of the eeriest, strangest, most hair raising, and true (as far as we mortals can tell) stories of ghosts that haunt our battlefields, restaurants, road, hotels, schools, and homes.

“Salem's Lot”
— Stephen King's classic New England hair raising adventure. One of a kind!

“Encyclopedia of Urban Legends”
— This comprehensive and compellingly readable reference work will answer all your urban legend questions. Each legend is cross referenced for those wishing to do a more complete study.

“Buster Keaton Remembered”
— Personal and professional papers, produced and unproduced scripts, studio records and scrapbooks provide a vivid behind the scene account of Keaton's movie making.

“The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cats”
— Fascinating information covering the cat throughout history. Anatomy, appearance, behavior, advice about choosing and caring for your cat, it is all here plus pictures.

“Micro Monsters - Creatures That Live On Your Skin, In Your Hair, And In Your Home”
— An amazing look at insects. Not for the timid.

Items have opening bids from $5-$8 and are on display in the library lobby.

Bids can be made through noon, Saturday, October 27, on cards in the Friend's Bookstore located in the young adult section of the library.

Paramount earns postseason berth over Warren

DOWNEY – The Warren High School girls’ volleyball team finished their season with an overall record of 7-8 and a S.G.V.L. record of 5-5.

The Lady Bears finished league play tied for third with Paramount but Paramount received the third San Gabriel Valley League entry to the C.I.F Division 5 playoffs due to their second round, five-set win against Warren on Sept. 27.

Cross-town rival Downey and Gahr shared this year’s San Gabriel Valley League title at 9-1 but Downey earned the number one league entry with their second round, five-set win against Gahr – 19-25, 26-24, 25-13, 22-25, 15-13 – on Oct. 9.

Lynwood finished fifth in league play with a record of 2-8 and Dominguez finished sixth in league play with a record of 0-10.

Coach Lane, his staff and underclassmen will now start to get ready for next season.

WARREN HIGH BOYS WATER POLO: The Warren High School boys’ water polo team currently has an overall record of 6-11 and are 2-1 in S.G.V.L. play.

The Bears were defeated by cross-town rival Downey on Tuesday, 10-7. This game was for the league championship as the two best teams in league play went toe to toe for city bragging rights.

Downey will conclude its regular season next Tuesday against Gahr and Warren will conclude its regular season next Tuesday when it hosts La Mirada.

Downey has qualified for postseason play and Warren may earn a wildcard game.

DOWNEY BOYS WATER POLO: The Vikings improved to 7-9 overall and 3-0 in S.G.V.L. play with their victory over Warren.

Downey has seemingly clinched the inside track to the league title with the win against Warren on Tuesday night. The Vikings are scheduled to play at Gahr next Tuesday in their league finale and need to win that game to formalize their league championship.

Viking seniors Jakob Martinez and Nathan Lopez and junior David Tonne have led the way for Downey this season.

The Vikings competed in the Nogales Tournament last Saturday and were defeated by Etiwanda 10-6. Downey played Pioneer yesterday at Pioneer (score unavailable at press time) and will compete in the Riverside Poly Tournament later today and tomorrow.

The Vikings are scheduled to play J.W. North later today at 3 p.m., Arlington tomorrow at 12 p.m. and Valley View tomorrow at 2 p.m.

The Vikings finished last season with an overall record of 10-20 and were defeated by Foothill Tech 10-6 in the first round of the C.I.F. Division 6 playoffs.

WARREN FOOTBALL: The Warren High School football team defeated Gahr at Warren last Friday night and Saturday afternoon, 46-14.

The game was postponed Friday night due to weather with Warren leading 12-0. The game resumed Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. and Warren pulled away with their impressive win.

With the win, the Bears improved to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in S.G.V.L. play.

The Bears scored early and often, leading 12-0 at the end of the first quarter and taking an 18-0 lead into halftime.

The Bears picked up in the second half where they left off in the first, outscoring Gahr, 21-14, in the third quarter to take a 39-14 lead after three quarters of play. The Bears tacked on a fourth quarter touchdown and won 46-14.

Bear quarterback Chris Venegas completed 13/21 pass attempts for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Venegas also carried the ball eight times for 54 yards and finished the game with a quarterback rating of 135.1.

The Bears accumulated 519 of total yards on offense, including 308 on the ground.

The Bear rushing attack was led by Damarryea Armstrong’s five carries for 60 yards and one touchdown, Arvionte Sheffield’s seven carries for 50 yards and two touchdowns and Eimajah Hunter’s five carries for 42 yards and one touchdown.

The Bear receiving corps were led by Jabari Hughes Jr.’s six catches for 100 yards, Desmond Carnes’ four catches for 64 yards and one touchdown and Stephen N. Austin’s two catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bear defense was led by Damond Callahan’s four solo and eight assisted tackles and Jonathan McDaniel’s one solo and five assisted tackles.

Coach Lara, his staff and players are all looking forward to the cross-town city rivalry game against Downey tonight. The Vikings are currently 4-4 overall and are also 2-1 in San Gabriel Valley League play.

DOWNEY FOOTBALL: The Downey High School football team traveled to Lynwood last Friday night and defeated Lynwood, 28-0, in a rain-shortened game.

With the win the Vikings improved to 4-4 overall and 2-1 in S.G.V.L. play.

The Downey/Lynwood game was called in the second quarter last Friday night due to inclement weather. Downey led 28-0 and officials determined there was no point in continuing the game.

Viking quarterback Kijjon Foots completed his only pass of the game for 13 yards. Foots finished 1/1 passing with a quarterback rating of 137.5.

The Viking ground attack was led by Malcom Perry’s two carries for 21 yards, Noah Skobis’ two carries for 55 yards and one touchdown and Jaden Allen’s one carry for 48 yards and one touchdown. The Viking receiving corps were led by Aidan Duenas’s one catch for 13 yards.

Downey’s Danny Ruiz and Malachi Rice also contributed with one touchdown each. Ruiz returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown and Rice returned a punt 30 yards for a touchdown. Viking kicker Austin Calvillo also contributed with four PAT’s.

The Viking defense was led by Justin Cardenas’ one solo and four assisted tackles and Anthony Lopez’s one solo and four assisted tackles.

Coach Williams, his staff and players are all looking forward to hosting the Bears (5-3, 2-1) later today in their annual city showdown. According to, Downey is ranked 210th in California and Warren is ranked 207th.

Letter to the Editor: Speeding on Studebaker

Dear Editor:

I would like to have some kind of an island installed on Studebaker Road between Cecilia Street and all the way to Florence Avenue.

Lately there has been a lot of speeding and during the night weekends there's been young guys doing donuts in the middle of the street.

I am just asking for safety in our streets and community. I hope the city takes action.

Claudia Villasenor

Letter to the Editor: Mental health

Dear Editor:

Thank you Alex Dominguez for such an enlightening article on anxiety and depression. It was touching as well as educational.

He shared such specific and personal symptoms that he has dealt with which, in my opinion, was courageous and selfless.

In addition to the hotlines he mentioned for those in crisis, I want to recommend NAMI, National Alliance for Mental Illness. They have chapters in most communities and offer classes for family and friends that want to understand mental illness and better support a loved one.

Thank you again for using your talent as a journalist to promote awareness on this very important issue.

Lupita Dawson

Lawrence Scott Zowada passes away

Scott Zowada Photo.jpg

Lawrence Scott Zowada, 51, left us unexpectedly on Wednesday, October 3 surrounded by family, friends and church community. He leaves behind his wife of 18 years, Jeniffer, his precious children, Jackson (14) and Sophie (8) and the daughter of his heart, Krystal. Also grieving his loss are his parents Lawrence and Diane Zowada.

The family would like to invite you to celebrate his life with them at 10 am on Friday, October 12 at Seacoast Grace Church in Cypress.

Scott will be remembered in our community as an encouraging coach and mentor. Football was his passion. The Rams were his team. He led the Cerritos College Falcons, the Warren High School Bears and volunteered as the coach for the DJAA Panthers for 9 years. Over the last couple of weeks, the family has been flooded with countless stories of the lives that he has impacted with his wisdom and leadership.

Scott had a servant’s heart and spent time volunteering with the homeless and in the community. If you needed something, Scott would be there for you. He had a recent goal to participate in the Triumph Foundation Super Hero 5K which unfortunately he was not able to achieve. Scott didn’t need a race to prove that he was a hero. He has been and always will be a hero to his family. And now through organ donation, Scott continues to come to the aid of other people.

Born in Fullerton, Scott was raised in Downey and attended Warren High School graduating in 1985. He worked for the Downey Unified District faithfully for over 20 years. An amazing and caring hero, Scott was above all things a family man. His love for his wife was unending and continues to give her strength.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Triumph Foundation. This non-profit foundation is close to the hearts of the Zowada family and has helped them in so many ways. It would bring so much joy to the family to know that they could be part of helping

If you feel called and are able to give, please consider donating to help Jeniffer and her family during this time of loss and uncertainty at

Dia de los Muertos Festival to feature new film festival

DOWNEY – This year’s Dia de los Muertos Festival in Downey will feature a film festival, organizers announced.

 Photo by Pam Lane,

Photo by Pam Lane,

Presented by Cinema Culturas, “From Indo to Downey” will feature short, entertaining films relevant to Mexican society, family and culture.

Dia de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, is an age-old tradition in Mexico and Central and South America. The day celebrates the spirits of the dead, who are said to return to earth for one day to rejoin their loved ones.

Families welcome the spirits by building altars (ofrendas) that include mementos and reminders of the deceased, such as photos, favorite foods, hobbies, music, etc.

Customs include eating sweet bread (pan de muertos), decorating sugar skulls (calaveras), face painting, and decorating doorways with colorful papel picado.

City officials are anticipating 30,000 people to attend Downey’s Dia de los Muertos festival, which takes place Sunday, Oct. 28, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in and around the Downey Theatre.

The event will feature continuous ballet folkorico and film inside the 738-seat theater, along with facepainting and arts and crafts in the theater patio.

Also planned:

  • A sampling of Mexican music formts on the Zocalo stage in the theater courtyard

  • Variety acts on the Community stage, including ballet folklorico, mariachis, and singers

  • A fine art exhibit in the theater lobby, curated by the Downey Arts Coalition

  • An “urban art alley” featuring 20-ft. tall “found art” sculptures and the “Parade of the 10-ft. Cantinas”

  • The Casa Calaveras Experiences, a multi-media exhibit

  • “Car Altar Avenue,” the merging of Southern California car art and traditional altars

  • Papel picado demonstrations by renowned artisan Aurora Sanchez. Festival goers can also make a papel picado luminaria to take home

  • The Mercado, approximately 50 vendors selling Dia de los Muertos themed merchandise

  • Calaveras decorating

  • 20 booths for local merchants selling their products and services

  • Food trucks and food carts

The festival officially opens when a troupe of 35 Aztec dancers imbue the area with good spirits.

Community invited to taste school meals

DOWNEY – On Saturday, Oct. 20, Downey Unified’s Nutrition Services Department will be hosting the second annual School Meal Expo and Tasting event.


This free event, which is open to Downey Unified parents and students of all grade levels, as well as the Downey community, will be held in the Downey High School cafeteria from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The day is set to showcase a variety of healthy and delicious meal options that are available to Downey Unified students. Guests will have a chance to experience over 20 different items at this tasting event.

Each family will receive a goodie bag and a raffle will be held for a variety of prizes, including gift cards and movie tickets.

Those in attendance will have the opportunity to rotate through various taste-testing stations featuring street tacos, salad bar, taquitos, and guacamole.

There will also be a station for nutrition education to promote healthy choices. Other stations will include applying for the school lunch program, information for the online meal payment system and a photo booth where guests can take photos with fun props.

For more information, please visit or our Nutrition Services Department at

Patricia Beckerman services scheduled

DOWNEY – Patricia J. Beckerman, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away Monday, Sept. 24, at her home in Long Beach.

patricia beckerman.png

She was predeceased by her husband, Raymond Beckerman, in 2005 and her daughter, Cindy Halstead, in 2008.

She is survived by her daughters, Lynda Maybruck (Alan) of Saratoga, Christine Mortensen (Craig) of Laguna Niguel, and Laurie McDaniel of Lake Arrowhead, and Colorado Springs, Colo., as well as 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

A vigil will be held Friday, Oct. 12, at 4 p.m., followed by the praying of the Holy Rosary at Miller Mies Mortuary in Downey.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, Oct. 15, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Downey, followed by internment at Resurrection Cemetery in Rosemead.

Donations in her memory may be made at