Paul Harrison Griffin

October 27, 1929 - November 9, 2017

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Paul H. Griffin, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend and longtime educator, passed away November 9, 2017 in Norwalk, CA.  Paul and his wife, Betty, were married for 65 years and were residents of Downey for 61 years.


Paul was born to Lena and Sterling “Harry” Griffin in El Dorado Springs, MO, on October 27, 1929; Paul was their only child. He spent his young childhood a short distance away in Tiffin, MO, where his mother owned a general store.  Paul and his parents drove to California via Route 66 seeking a better life and education opportunities (this was during the Great Depression).  Paul celebrated his 7th birthday sleeping in the family car on the side of Route 66.  They arrived and settled in Maywood, CA on October 31, 1936 where Paul’s parents bought a home built by his uncle.  Paul’s family moved to Downey in 1949 where they built a new home on a commercial half acre (with orange trees)!


Paul attended South Gate Jr. High and subsequently attended and graduated from South Gate High School in 1947. Paul excelled in sports in high school, participating in tennis, basketball, and track (high hurdles); he received letters in all three sports.  


Paul graduated from Pepperdine College in 1951 with a B.A. in History.  In 1952, Paul earned a M.A. degree in social science from Long Beach State College.


On August 23rd, 1952, Paul married his high school sweetheart, Betty Joyce Braaten.  Two months later, Paul was drafted into the U.S. Army.  At the time, he was teaching at a Junior high school in Compton.  Paul went through basic training at Fort Ord, CA, and served from 1953-1954 in Taegu, South Korea as a military policeman.


Upon leaving the Army in 1954, Paul enrolled in the University of Southern California, and in 1955, he was hired as a teacher at South Gate Jr. High School (where he had been a student from 1941-1944)!


In 1956, Paul and Betty purchased their first (and only) home in Downey, CA. Paul and Betty raised three boys there:  Paul and Betty’s first child, Mark Sterling, was born in 1957.  Paul continued teaching social studies and English at South Gate Junior High School.  In 1959, Paul and Betty’s second son, Gregory Neil, was born.  Their third son, Jeffrey Paul, was born in 1963. All three sons were born at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood, CA. All three sons Graduated from Warren High School in Downey and all three became law enforcement officers. Greg and Jeff retired from the Downey Police Department and Mark retired from El Paso County Sheriff’s Department in Colorado.


In 1967, Paul earned a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California as well as secondary administrative credential.  


Paul retired in December of 1988 from the Los Angeles Unified School District after 34 years.  Paul had spent the last 23 ½ years at Huntington Park High School.  


During the years his sons were growing up, Paul and Betty spent much of their time enjoying such activities as DJAA sports (where Paul coached many seasons), Cub Scouts, school projects, birthday parties, etc.


Upon Betty’s retirement in 1992 from the 3M Company (after 27 + years), Paul and Betty enjoyed traveling.  Their travels took them to Hawaii, Washington, DC (Smithsonian), New Orleans, New England, Colorado, Missouri, New York, the Caribbean, North Carolina, Virginia, etc.


Paul was an excellent amateur photographer. He enjoyed taking photographs of everything related to family, friends, vacations, gatherings, sports, etc.  


His greatest joy was spending time with his family.  He will be greatly missed for his consistent love and support he gave to his family and friends.  He will be remembered as a man who lived life his way with good character, strong principles, values, compassion, and charity.  


Paul is survived by his wife, Betty; three children, Mark (Cheryl), Greg (India) and Jeff(Cyndi); five grandchildren, Courtney(Tyler), Christopher(Jessica), Wyatt, Sierra, and Dylan; three great-grandchildren, Noelle, Cash, Daisy, and Holliday (who is on the way).


Services were held Thursday, November 16, 2017 at Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary, 3888 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601.  Please sign Paul’s guest book at Rosehills.com.

Grace E. Horney

September 6, 1926 - October 22, 2017

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Grace Elisabeth Horney (aka Bettina, Betty, Bet, Mom and Grandma), 91 of Downey, California died from natural causes on October 22, 2017. She was born in Moctezuma, Sonora, Mexico on September 6, 1926 and raised in Miami, Oklahoma. She was one of 8 children. Her mother Viola Bitticks (Gibbons) moved the family to South Gate, CA in 1943.


In 1946 Grace traveled across the country by train to board the 3rd peace time sailing of the Queen Elizabeth in New York, taking her to Great Britain to marry the love of her life, Royal Air Force pilot Norman Horney, who predeceased her. After a year of living in England they moved back to Southern California settling in Downey in 1953.


Grace had two children, Ross Alan Horney (wife Donnetta Jensen Horney) and grandchildren Christopher and Dustin Horney of Huntington Beach, CA, and Connie St. Amand (Horney) (husband Daun St. Amand) of Los Angeles, CA and grandchildren Ashley, Lea and Gabrielle St. Amand survive her. Grace is also survived by her youngest sister, Leslie Brown (Bitticks) of Portland, Oregon, along with numerous nephews, nieces and extended family across the country.


Grace became one of the first female elected school board members on the Downey Unified School District Board of Education in 1965. She held numerous positions on the board, serving as President 4 times. She stepped down from the board in 1993 after serving 28 years. Also during this time she was a member of numerous committees throughout the area. Close to her heart was her time serving on the Downey Women’s Club Scholarship Committee, which enabled many Downey graduates to attend college.


In 1987 Grace received special recognition by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party for her exemplary record of service to her community by the Honorable Cecil Green 33rd Senatorial District of California. Also, in 1993 she received special commendation for her public and civic leadership by the Honorable Bob Epple of the 56th Assembly District of California.
Grace, a girl from a small Midwest town, lived an extraordinary life. She married a British pilot, sailed on the Queen Mary, moved to California, and became one of the first elected female officials in her town. She remained politically active throughout her life, earning the respect and trust of students and teachers alike.


More importantly, Grace was the adored matriarch of her family. She hosted annual holiday gatherings and spoiled her family with her signature cooking and baking for decades. She founded the Horney Family Scholarship Fund for her 5 grandchildren, and provided an endless supply of emotional support and inspiration. Her intelligence and sharp wit delighted her family. Grace was the most amazing wife, mother, aunt, grandmother and friend a family could ever have, making a large impact on many lives. Her gift of love and caring will never be forgotten and sorely missed.


The family is holding a private ceremony to celebrate the life and the many accomplishments of their beloved Grace.


Memorial Gifts in Grace’s memory can be made to: Downey Women’s Club Scholarship Fund, 9813 Paramount Boulevard, Downey, CA 90240.

 

June Marie Guengerich

April 29, 1928 - October 25, 2017

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June Marie Guengerich was born April 29, 1928 in Martinez, CA and entered into the presence of her Lord Jesus on October 25, 2017 in Downey, CA.


June attended Pepperdine University before her marriage to Richard Guengerich in 1950.  When her three daughters reached school age, June attended and graduated from Long Beach State University.


With a caring heart and a love for helping others, June was an educator in the Downey School District for over 30 years.  After retiring from teaching at Warren High, June impacted many more lives serving with Child Evangelism Fellowship for the next 23 years.


June leaves behind her loving family:  Her beloved husband of 67 years, Richard Guengerich of Downey, CA, her daughters, Donna, Karen, and Cathy,  nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren, as well as many other family members.


Through the years, June was an active church member of Immanual Mennonite, Downey First Baptist and Calvary Chapel of Downey where many appreciated hearing her beautiful voice as she sang to God’s glory.  One of her favorite Bible verses from Isaiah 12 is “The Lord is my strength and my song.”  June’s memorial service was held at the Downey First Baptist Chapel on November 6, 2017.


She will be greatly missed by all who know and love her.  She wants us to be comforted by Jesus’ promise that we will be with her again forever!

Shared Stories: Coming to America in 1973

Nida Ferrer worked hard to build a good life for her children and persevered when faced with an obstacle. 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 Nida Ferrer
 

On September 26, 1973, the petition of my husband was approved for us to join him in America. My husband had been working in the United States for Bechtel for five years. I was excited to come here and to be reunited with my husband and for my kids to be with their dad.

Before this happened, I had to complete all of the paperwork.  I went to the Philippine Embassy many times for them to approve all of the papers first.  I applied for all of our green cards as immigrants.

It took three months to complete all of my papers and to prepare everything.  I took my children for their shots.  My oldest son Peter was eleven years old, my daughter Elvira was ten, my daughter Wilhelmina was eight and my son Robert was five.

I went to apply for our flight tickets to the airport.  After a week our tickets were ready.  I prepared our luggage and packed all of the clothes needed.  During this week I received a letter from my husband, special delivery, saying for us not to come.  He said he could not find a house for us.

I was so angry and disappointed, but I told my children that we have to go. Your daddy can not stop us.  My decision was to write to my Uncle Eddie, the brother of my father, and tell him that I and my four children were coming, and, if possible, could he meet us at the airport.

He responded to my request and said he would come.  I told him that our flight was American Air Lines and that we would be in LAX around 4 p.m.  

I met my uncle only one time before when I was a little girl, so I sent a picture of me and my children.  When I and my children arrived at the airport I would have to imagine how my uncle would look.  I thought he must look like my father.   When I saw him, he did resemble my father.

When I saw Uncle Eddie, I was so happy.  Finally, we were in America.  We stayed at their house for one week.  He already reserved the first floor for us.  They had a three-story house.  His wife was a German lady and very sweet.  Their two children, my cousins, were already grown.  I met them as well.

I saw my husband for the first few months, but it didn’t work out.  A fifth child was born, but after a year we divorced.        

We all ended up staying at Uncle Eddie’s house for 14 years, and I paid only $100 per month.  I got a job with Prudential Insurance for six years.  Then they offered me a job in New Jersey, but I couldn’t move my family.  I got a job with Kaiser in Los Angeles and I worked there for 16 years.

My children grew up.  They all went to college.  I helped them until they finished their careers.  I bought a car for my son Robert so he could go to college and also find a job.  I also helped my youngest daughter Josephine.  She went to Biola University and graduated in accounting.  She also went to USC for her master’s degree.  I did my best to help them all, because I cherish them.

Local Black Friday store hours

With “Black Friday” quickly approaching, here is a list of shopping hot spots and their hours for those who plan to shop until they drop after they finish their turkey.

Best Buy

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12188 Lakewood Blvd.

Best Buy will be open from 5 p.m. through 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving, then reopen from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday.

 

Target

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10600 Firestone Blvd., Norwalk

Target will be open from 6 p.m. through midnight on Thanksgiving, then reopen at 6 a.m. through 11 p.m. on Friday.

 

Walmart

Photo by Alex Dominguez

Photo by Alex Dominguez

9001 Apollo Way

Walmart will be open for normal business hours on Thanksgiving, with sales starting at 6 p.m. Walmart will then reopen at 6 am on Friday, and operate until midnight.

 

The Stonewood Center

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251 Stonewood Street

The Stonewood Center will open from 6 p.m. to midnight on Thanksgiving, then reopen at 6 a.m. through 10 p.m. on Friday.

Notable Stores: Aeropostale, Bath and Body Works, Charlotte russe, Foot Locker, Forever 21, G by Guess, H&M, Hollister Co., Hot Topic, JCPenney, Journeys, Kay Jewelers, Kevin Jewelers, Kiko Milano, Kohls, Lids, Macy’s, Pac Sun, Pink, Samuels Jewelers, Sears, See’s Candies, Spencer’s, Sunglass Hut, The Children’s Place, Tilly’s, Things Remembered, Torrid, Vans, Victoria’s Secret, Zales, Zumiez

 

Los Cerritos Center

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239 Los Cerritos Center, Cerritos

The Los Cerritos Center will be open from 6 p.m. to midnight on Thanksgiving Day, then reopen from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday.

Notable Stores: Abercrombie and Fitch, Adidas, Aeropostale, Apple Store, Banana Republic, Bath and Body Works, Ben Bridge Jeweler, Box Lunch, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Coach, crocs, Daniel’s Jewelers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Disney Store, Flight 23 at Footaction, Footlocker, Forever 21, Gap / Gap Kids, Guess, Gymboree, Hollister Co., Hot Topic, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Journeys, Kay Jewelers, Kiko Milano, Lids, Macy’s, Michael Kors, Microsoft Store, New York and Company, Nordstrom, Oakley, Pacsun, Pandora, Payless ShoeSource, Pink, Sears, See’s Candies, Sephora, Spencer’s, Sunglass Hut, The Children’s Place, Things Remembered, True Religion, Vans, Victoria’s Secret, Zara, Zumiez

 

Lakewood Mall

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500 Lakewood Center Mall, Lakewood

The Lakewood Center will be open from 6 p.m to midnight on Thanksgiving, then reopen from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday.  

Notable Stores: Aeropostale, Aldo, Bath and Body Works, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Book-Off, Box Lunch, Charlotte Ruse, Daniels Jewelers, Disney Store, Finish Line, Foot Locker, Forever 21, G by Guess, Gamestop, Gap / Gap Kids, H&M, Hollister Co., Hot Topic, JCPenney, Journeys, Kay Jewelers, Kevin Jewelers, Kiko Milano, Lane Bryant, Lids, Macy’s, New York & Company, Nordstrom Rack, Pacsun, Payless ShoeSource, Regis, See’s Candies, Spencer’s, Sunglass Hut, Target, The Children’s Place, The Home Depot, Thing’s Remembered, Torrid, Vans, Victoria’s Secret, Zales, Zumiez

Two women accuse State Sen. Tony Mendoza of sexual harassment

State Sen. Tony Mendoza

State Sen. Tony Mendoza

DOWNEY – Two women have accused Tony Mendoza – Downey’s representative in the California senate – of sexual harassment, charges he denies. 

The Sacramento Bee broke the story Nov. 9, reporting that the Senate was investigating an allegation that earlier this year Mendoza invited a 23-year-old woman to his home to review her résumé for a job opportunity in his office. 

According to the Bee, the woman was working as a fellow in Mendoza’s office as part of a Sacramento State program that places graduates in legislative offices for 11 months.

The woman was seeking a permanent job in Mendoza’s office and had submitted a resume, the Bee reported. On Aug. 31, Mendoza allegedly offered to review her resume at his Sacramento home, an offer she declined. 

A week prior, Mendoza “had suggested the fellow could spend the night in his hotel room before an early golf tournament fundraiser at Cache Creek the next day,” the Bee reported. The woman declined that offer as well.

The fellow reported Mendoza’s actions to the head of the fellowship program – David Pacheco – who alerted Jeannie Oropeza, head of human resources under the Senate Rules Committee. 

The newspaper also reported that Mendoza fired three staff members who had knowledge of the accusations and resulting investigation. They signed confidentiality agreements and were fired Sept. 22, according to the Bee. 

After that story published, a second woman – Jennifer Kwart – went public with allegations that while at the 2008 California Democratic Party convention, Mendoza picked her up from the airport and took her to a hotel suite, where they drank liquor from the hotel room’s mini-bar. 

Kwart was a 19-year-old intern in Mendoza’s Norwalk office at the time. 

Kwart said that Mendoza asked questions about her ex-boyfriends and taste in men. On their way to the convention, Mendoza said he didn’t want to spend much time at the convention because “then we won’t have time for anything else,” Kwart said. 

“I interpreted that to mean this guy thinks I’m going to have sex with him,” Kwart told the Bee. 

During a dinner alone with Mendoza that night, Kwart said she faked a phone call and retreated to her room. She returned home the next day. 

State Sen. Tony Mendoza speaks at the Downey Coordinating Council awards dinner. 

State Sen. Tony Mendoza speaks at the Downey Coordinating Council awards dinner. 

Mendoza’s office didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. But in a statement to the Bee, Mendoza, who is married with four children, said he would “never knowingly abuse his authority or put an employee in an uncomfortable position.” 

“If I’ve communicated or miscommunicated anything that has ever made a female employee feel uncomfortable, then I am deeply embarrassed and I will immediately apologize,” he said. 

Mendoza was elected to the state Senate in 2014, beating former Downey mayor Mario Guerra. In a statement, Guerra didn’t explicitly call on Mendoza to resign, but said he “has lost the ability to govern effectively on behalf of our residents.” 

“While some will call my comments on this issue a political statement, our campaign knew about some of these allegations told to us by some of his former employees back in 2014,” Guerra said. “We knew about the systemic institutional problem that continued to cover up his indiscretions and abuse of power over many women.

“If these allegations are true, and it seems the credibility of the victims is beyond reproach, Mr. Mendoza has not only betrayed the most sacred trust placed upon him as a legislator, but also as a person in a position of power.”

In response to the allegations, the Senate announced Sunday that the Senate Rules Committee would no longer investigate accusations of sexual harassment. Instead, together with the Senate Democratic Women’s Caucus, the Senate will hire an outside legal team to conduct investigations and recommend discipline.

Vikings beat Etiwanda to advance to second round of CIF playoffs

Photo courtesy @downeyvikes on Instagram

Photo courtesy @downeyvikes on Instagram

DOWNEY – The Downey High School football team defeated Etiwanda last Friday night at Downey, 47-14, in the first round of the C.I.F. Division 4 playoffs. 

With the win, Downey improved to 9-2 overall and will travel to Corona del Mar on Friday for their game against the Sea Kings. Corona del Mar is 10-1 overall and was 5-0 in Pacific Coast League play. 

Corona del Mar defeated Roosevelt, 42-35, in their first-round game last Friday.

In the Downey/Etiwanda game, the Vikings scored early and often. Downey led 19-0 at the end of the first quarter and 26-7 going into the locker room at halftime. 

The Vikings outscored Etiwanda, 8-0, in the third quarter and led 34-7 after three quarters of play. Downey scored 13 more points in the fourth quarter and won convincingly, 47-14.

Downey quarterback Kijjon Foots completed 9/16 pass attempts for 176 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and had a passer rating of 134.4. Foots also ran the ball 13 times for 114 yards and one touchdown. 

The Downey ground game was led by Baraq Ross’ 30 carries for 197 yards and three touchdowns and Shane Olden’s five carries for 31 yards and one touchdown.

The Viking receiving corps were led by Christopher Atkins’ five catches for 127 yards and one touchdown. Nicholas Whitney caught one reception for 31 yards and a touchdown.

The Downey defense was led by Malcom Perry’s seven solo and five assisted tackles, Noah Skobis’ eight solo and two assisted tackles, Jacob Manetta’s five solo and two assisted tackles and Eli Garcia’s one solo and five assisted tackles.     
 

WARREN GIRLS CROSS-COUNTRY: The Warren High School girls’ cross-country team advanced to C.I.F. Finals this weekend at the Riverside Course in Riverside. 

The Lady Bears finished 7th in Heat 2 with a score of 218. Warren finished in a team time of 1:34.54 and an average runner time of 18:58. Warren finished 11th, 27th, 48th, 68th and 69th, respectively.

Nadine Gomez was the first Lady Bear to finish in a time of 18:06.6, Leann Pavana was the second Lady Bear to finish in a time of 18:35.4, Natalie Esparza was the third Lady Bear to finish in a time of 19:09.6, Adriana Cervantes was the fourth Lady Bear to finish in a time of 19:31 and Marissa Lule was the fifth Lady Bear to finish in a time of 19:31.6.


WARREN BOYS CROSS-COUNTRY: The Warren High School boys’ cross-country team saw their season come to an end last Friday morning at C.I.F. Prelims in Riverside. 

The Bears finished 9th in Heat 2 with a score of 240. The Bears finished in a team time of 1:19.13 and an average runner time of 15:50. Warren finished 29th, 33rd, 51st, 60th and 75th, respectively. 

Emiliano Rodriguez was the first Bear to finish in a time 15:32.5, Antonio Munoz was the second Bear to finish in a time 15:36.6, Alex Guardado was the third Bear to finish in a time of 15:57.1, Alfredo Santana was the fourth Bear to finish in a time of 15:58.8 and Fabian Gomez was the fifth Bear to finish in a time of 16:08.3.
 

DOWNEY BOYS CROSS-COUNTRY: The Downey High School boys’ cross-country team saw their season come to an end last Friday morning at C.I.F. Prelims in Riverside.

The Vikings finished 14th in Heat 3 with a score of 420. The Vikings finished in a team time of 1:21.55 and an average runner time of 16:23. Downey finished 75th, 76th, 86th, 98th and 101st, respectively. 

Pablo Calderon was the first Viking to finish in a time 16:09.1, Jaime Quinones was the second Viking to finish in a time 16:11.0, Fabian Zuniga was the third Viking to finish in a time of 16:19.1, Matthew Enriquez was the fourth Viking to finish in a time of 16:36.1 and Sergio Salas was the fifth Viking to finish in a time of 16:40.2.

DOWNEY GIRLS CROSS-COUNTRY: The Downey High School girls’ cross-country team saw their season come to an end last Friday morning at C.I.F. Prelims in Riverside.

The Lady Vikings finished 16th in Heat 2 with a score of 421. Downey finished in a team time of 1:40.6 and an average runner time of 20:01. Downey finished 31st, 65th, 97th, 116th and 130th, respectively.

Laura Velasco was the first Lady Viking to finish in a time of 18:42.3, Adriana Higuera was the second Lady Viking to finish in a time of 19:25.1, Mia Neuman was the third Lady Viking to finish in a time of 20:04.1, Vanessa Vanda was the fourth Lady Viking to finish in a time of 20:36.9 and Juliana Cuevas was the fifth Lady Viking to finish in a time of 21:17.6.


CALVARY CHAPEL FOOTBALL: The Downey Calvary Chapel football team saw their season come to an end Nov. 3 in the first round of the C.I.F. 8 Man Division 1 playoffs. 

The Grizzlies were defeated, 58-6, at Faith Baptist of Canoga Park. With the loss, the Grizzlies finished their season with an overall record of 4-4, while Faith Baptist remained undefeated at 11-0. The Contenders are currently ranked number one in the state in the 8 Man Division and are scheduled to play Orcutt Academy later today.

In the DCC/Faith Baptist game the Contenders jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Faith Baptist scored 42 points in the first quarter and another 8 points in the second quarter to take a 50-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

The Contenders outscored the Grizzlies 8-6 in the third quarter and led 58-6 at the end of the third quarter. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter and the score remained 58-6.

Grizzly quarterback Jacob Escalante completed 10/21 pass attempts for 84 yards and one touchdown. Escalante also rushed 16 times for 42 yards. Luke Manriquez also contributed to the DCC ground game with six carries for 35 yards.

The Grizzly receiving corps were led by Carlos Fuentes’ four catches for 29 yards and one touchdown, Andrew Rangel’s four catches for 25 yards and Luke Manriquez’s two catches for 30 yards. 

The DCC defense was led by Luke Manriquez’s five solo and four assisted tackles, David Zarate’s six solo and two assisted tackles, Carlos Fuentes’ three solo and four assisted tackles and Andrew Rangel’s four solo and one assisted tackle.  
 

Manhattan Beach offers its Christmas float to Downey

Manhattan Beach's Christmas float. Photo courtesy city of Downey

Manhattan Beach's Christmas float. Photo courtesy city of Downey

DOWNEY – The city of Downey is considering taking possession of a Christmas float no longer used by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce. 

The float measures 8 ½-ft. wide by 23-ft. long and 10-ft. tall. 

“Because the float has not been in use by the community in recent years, the Manhattan Beach Chamber and City of Manhattan Beach have offered the float to the Downey community,” Downey councilmember Blanca Pacheco wrote in a report to her council colleagues.

If the City Council approves the acquisition, Downey would pay a ceremonial $1 to Manhattan Beach, plus fees for transfer documents and licensing. 

It’s unclear where the float would be housed. The Downey Rose Float Association assembles its float on county-owned property on the south Rancho Los Amigos campus. 

Downey also has in its possession the space shuttle Inspiration, a 122-ft. long full-scale space shuttle mock-up built by North American Rockwell. The shuttle was disassembled in 2014 and placed in a city maintenance yard.
 

Downey Library's November and December auction items

DOWNEY -- The Friends of the Downey City Library holds monthly silent auctions to raise money for library programs. Because of the holiday, the November/December auctions are combined:

DIY – Know-How with Show-How” (the basics for all your home repairs);

The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine” (the recipes and the history of a one-of-a-kind cuisine);

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A Christmas Carol,” “Inventing Scrooge” and “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” (learn about the story behind the story and read Marley’s side of the story);

Tutankhamun – the Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” (a book that was the companion volume to the exhibit that toured Europe and America);

The Holy Bible – King James Version” (illustrated);

Summit 1879-1909” and “Images of India” (two volumes of photography taken in India);

The Great Life Photographers” (698 of the best photographs taken for Life magazine);

The Cloud Collector’s Handbook” and “Clouds” (illustrations combine beauty and science for an informative look at nature’s majestic creations);

Peanuts – A Golden Celebration” (50 years of favorite episodes);

Pearl Harbor – A Complete Illustrated History” (provides a sweeping view of the region’s past, from geological origin to the tense moments before and after the attack);

The Greatest Adventures of All Times” (through scores of dramatic photographs, many rarely seen, these adventures come vividly to life);

Where Jesus Walked” (meticulous research attention to detail, with lots of pictures and history, provide a walk in the Holy Land).

Items have opening bids from $6-$8 and are on display in the library lobby. Bids can be made through noon, Saturday, Dec. 9, on cards in the Friend’s Bookstore located in the young adult section of the library,

Shared Stories: The Entire Evening was a Surprise

Dora Silvers recounts a beautiful memory of a young boy who later went off to war.  It’s a timely story for this coming Veteran’s day.  Hats off to our service men and women who are the boys and girls next door.   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 Dora Silvers
 

I was 14 and in the 8th grade in New Jersey. Michael was in my class. I had a crush on him. After class he asked me what I was doing tonight for Halloween.

I said, “I usually hand out candy to the children.”

Michael said, “Meet me at the library at 7.  I have some plans.”

When I got home I told my brother Ben.  He said “Why don’t you put on one of Papa’s paint overalls?”  They were just washed.  Ben got me one of my father’s paint caps.  

After dinner at 6:30, I left to meet Michael at the library.  Michael was waiting, dressed in a black suit with a bow tie.  He said he was my butler for the night.

He told me that his brother worked for the Newark Evening News. We were to meet at his boss’s house. Michael knocked on the door and Mr. Sneed answered. He was the editor.

We went into the dining room and had orange punch and chocolate cupcakes. Then pictures were taken of us around the dining room table.  

We left and were headed for the apartment houses down the street. In between the two apartments was a short flight of stairs. We climbed up and sat on the top step. I looked into a window and saw our teacher Miss Stern. She was sitting on a sofa reading the newspaper. Then she went to the door and handed out candy to the children in costumes.

Michael said, “Isn’t that nice.” I was surprised that he knew where she lived. Then, an elderly lady came out and handed us a bag of candy. That was a real surprise. Actually, the entire evening was a surprise.

Then Michael walked me home, which was only several blocks away.  I thanked him for a great evening.

The next day, when I came home from school, my brother Jay asked me what I was doing around a dining room table.  He showed me the picture of the Newark Evening News. There, on the front page was a picture of Michael, me, and the group around the dining room table. What a great memory of long ago!

Michael and I went to different high schools. I went to my class reunion in 1945. There was a memorial. Michael was in the army. He was wounded and died in Germany.

Paramount elementary school inspires literacy during annual book fair

Wesley Gaines Elementary Principal Michael Naruko reads to students during the school’s annual book fair.

Wesley Gaines Elementary Principal Michael Naruko reads to students during the school’s annual book fair.

PARAMOUNT – Wesley Gaines Elementary School first-grader Julia Roman couldn’t wait to get her hands on her favorite book, “How Do Dinosaurs Write Their ABCs with Chalk.” Roman excitedly flipped through the pages, laughing at the familiar moments.

Roman was one of the many Wesley Gaines students who took thrill in the school’s annual Book Fair, which was held Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in the school’s library.

Students visited the fair during their normal library time throughout the week and received special access to nearly 3,000 books, as well as school supplies and posters. All sales raised money for student services.

“I like the books because I like to learn new words,” Roman said. “It’s fun to read about adventures that happen to characters.”

Each grade level visited the book fair during their normal library hours. Roman joined her classmates as they navigated through the library of sprawling titles like “Aliens Love Dinopaints” and the “Koala Who Could.” Posters for purchase covered the walls and included Pokémon and Star Wars themes.

“Our students really come to life when they enter the library and see all of their favorite tales in one place,” Wesley Gaines Principal Michael Naruko said. “Our book fair coincided with parent/teacher conferences and allowed kids to share in the joy with their parents as we promoted literacy in homes.”

The District has placed an emphasis on early literacy and encourages parents to read to their children at home. Programs like ‘Get Your A’s Up’, a literacy Academy at Jackson Middle School, inspires students through team building and dialogue exercises.

“Reading empowers our young learners to dream and set new goals for themselves,” Paramount Unified Board of Education President Linda Garcia said. “As we inspire each student’s imagination we reinforce that there are no limits to what they can achieve.”

The books at the Wesley Gaines fair were provided by Scholastic, which puts on literacy events throughout the country. Wesley Gaines has enjoyed its annual event for more than 10 years. 
 
“The book fair at Wesley Gaines is a special tradition that allows our students to indulge in their love of reading,” Paramount Superintendent Ruth Pérez said. “If we can inspire our students and stoke their fire for learning at an early age we can help them unlock a world of successful possibilities for the future.”