Sigfredo Alba

August 23, 1928 - August 27, 2017

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Born August 23, 1928 in Bogota, Colombia. Passed away on August 27, 2017 in Norwalk, California. Immigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1956. Moved to Downey in 1962. Worked 19 years for Consolidated Leasing Corp which became National Car Rental. Resigned from his position as Vice President to dedicate himself full time to his independent tax practice known as A&B Business Services, then Fred Alba’s Rapid Tax which he sold to his youngest son John Alexander Alba, EA/CAA in 1997. The 53 year practice continues today under the name Alba Professional Services/ H&R Block in the City of Norwalk. Fred was a champion dancer, 300 bowler and a world traveler. Survived by his wife of 67 years Doris Alba, six adult children, Carlos (Dina), Fred Andrew (Rosie) Myriam Telles (Rod) , Marilyn Kazlor, Douglas Alba, and John Alexander Alba (Deborah). All his children are professionals. 17 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren. A tremendous legacy. Haber vividó una vida con “MUCHO SABOR”

Charles Eldridge was a veteran

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DOWNEY – Charles Samuel Eldridge was laid to rest at Rose Hills with military honors on Sept. 12.

Eldridge had lived in Downey since 1951 along with his wife Beatriz where they raised two children.

A veteran, Eldridge was an active member of American Legion Post 270 for 39 years. He was also a volunteer at the Long Beach V.A. Hospital for more than 20 years.

Aldridge is survived by his daughter Aileen, his son David and his two grandchildren Brian and Melissa.

Letter to the Editor: Appreciation for local leaders

Dear Editor:

You never realize how lucky you are until you share experiences with another person who has it different from you.

I was fortunate enough to have a moment of reflection where I realized how proud and lucky I am to live in such a great, forward-thinking state where everyone wants equality and opportunity for everyone. Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. through a scholarship that was awarded to me from the CHCI. 

The people and the topics of discussion were both amazing and inspiring. Both ranging from individuals such as Congressman Joaquin Castro, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, motivational speakers JR Martinez and Julissa Arce and discussions covering Diversity in Media and Entertainment, Increasing College Degrees and Certificate Attainment, Artificial Intelligence, and Diabetes in the Hispanic Community.

My two favorite panels in particular were the Diversity in Media and Entertainment where we got to hear many VP’s of large organizations, including actor Danny Trejo speak about how they bring about a more diverse entertainment community; the other was the Diabetes in the Hispanic Community, where through the Q & A portion I was able to share my recent experiences in Cuba and a glimpse of their health care that they provide. 

I learned so much from the panels and guest speakers, but what I was not expecting was to truly appreciate the things and people that I take for granted back home, particularly our publically elected officials. During the moments of down time, I took this opportunity to network and meet other people attending the Conference. 

There were two particular individuals from different states that I got to know really well. We became very comfortable talking about ideologies, and one of them asked about protesting in California, specifically, “if it happens all the time.” I laughed, and replied, “I wouldn’t say all the time, but enough to where it’s not an uncommon occurrence.”

I was then asked a follow up question to that by the second individual, which stopped to make me think. “How does the community feel when they see these protestors?” I stopped to think for a few moments, as I was not expecting that question, but just making sure I was getting the right words for the obvious answer, I replied, “Generally, we are supportive of the people protesting because they’re doing it for a noble and worthy cause, for equality, or to call out an injustice. So when we hear or see protestors, we know they’re doing it to fight to make California a better place for everyone, and when you look at it that way, why wouldn’t you support them? Some of our elected officials can even be seen walking with protestors because they believe in the cause and support their diverse communities that they represent.” 

I saw a look of awe and admiration for what I had just said. After a few moments of silence, one of the individuals replied, “I wish it was like that where I am from.” At that moment, I realized how lucky I was to live in California, where we protect those who need protection, or fight for the equal rights of those who lack the same opportunities that others have. 

To quote President John F. Kennedy, “Freedom has many difficulties, and democracy is not perfect”, but knowing that I live in a state where not only the community rallies together to support one another and for what is right, but my elected officials do the same, makes me proud to live in this great state.

I want to thank the community I live in for supporting all people of California and for striving towards equality, but I want to give specific shout outs to Assemblymember Cristina Garcia and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard because I know and see that they truly have their constituents and the people of California’s best interest at heart. Thank you to you both for all that you do and all that you continue to fight for, and for making me proud to say, “I’m a Californian.”

Art Montoya

Letter to the Editor: Prayers for public safety

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank all the Downey Police Department, Fire Department and Graffiti personnel
for all they do for this city.

The city has grown and so has the crime, and they are out there every day protecting not knowing what they will come up against. I would like them to know they are in our thoughts and prayers daily, as well as their families.

Thank you and God bless.

Betty Zander

Letter to the Editor: No abortions in Downey

Dear Editor:

I've recently decided to help 40 Days For Life put the Family Planning Associates on Firestone Boulevard out of business.

From Sept. 27 through Nov. 5, the pro-life community will take part in 40 days of prayer and vigil each day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. I hope that some of you will join me in volunteering hours in prayer, on public property, just outside of this evil organization located at 8635 Firestone Blvd.

40 Days for Life has proudly saved a minimum of 13,305 lives and converted 154 abortion workers to quit their jobs. Since 2007 this wonderful organization has shut down 86 abortion clinics. Let's make Family Planning Associates in Downey the 87th.

Downey's conservative history cannot possibly allow baby-killing factories to operate here any longer. This factory happens to be located less than a quarter mile from Downey High School, where my daughter attends. 

Signing up for vigil hours is very simple: go to

Carl Vesper

Downey offense erupts for 56 points in win over San Pedro

The Downey High School football team defeated San Pedro at Downey last Friday night, 56-42, improving to 3-1 on the season. 

With the loss, the Pirates fell to 3-1. 

Last Friday night’s game saw 14 total touchdowns scored and 98 points put on the scoreboard. The game certainly had a Madden 18 video game feel to it with all the scoring. Downey defeated San Pedro last season at San Pedro, 27-21. 

San Pedro scored the first touchdown and Downey trailed 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. The Vikings came alive in the second quarter and scored three touchdowns. The Pirates scored one more touchdown and Downey took a 28-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.

San Pedro outscored Downey 14-7 in the third quarter and the score was tied at 35 as the third quarter came to an end. The Vikings put the game away in the fourth quarter as they scored three more touchdowns to San Pedro’s one. Downey came away with the hard-fought, 56-42 win.

Downey has scored 133 points over the last three weeks, an average of just over 44 points per game. Viking quarterback Kijjon Foots and running back Baraq Ross have played well in leading the Viking offense. The Downey offense now appears to be clicking on all cylinders after being shut out by the Trinity League’s Santa Margarita in week one. 

Downey will host a 1-3 Santa Fe team Friday night. The Chiefs defeated South Torrance 42-0 last Friday night to get their first win of the season.

Coach Williams, his staff and players will conclude their preseason schedule at the end of the Santa Fe game. The Vikings will observe their bye week next week and will open league play when they host Paramount at Downey on October 6. 
The Vikings will travel to cross-town rival Warren for their annual city showdown on October 27.

■ The Warren High School football team defeated Lakewood at Lakewood last Friday night, 20-12. With the win, the Bears improved to 3-1 on the season. 

With the loss, the Lancers fell to 0-4. Lakewood defeated Warren last season at Warren, 28-22. 

The Bears will host a 2-2 St. Paul team later tonight. St. Paul defeated St. Anthony of Long Beach 34-6 last Friday night to even their record. The Swordsmen defeated the Bears 47-37 last season in an offensive contest. Warren is looking for a different result this season. 

In the Warren/Lakewood game, the score was tied 6-6 at the end of the first quarter. Warren scored a touchdown in the second quarter and led 13-6 going into the locker room at halftime. Lakewood scored six points in the third quarter but Warren still led 13-12. 

The score remained 13-12 as the fourth quarter began. The Bears added a touchdown and extra point in the fourth quarter and came away with the hard-fought, 20-12 win.

Warren has scored 152 points over the last four weeks, an average of 38 points per game. Bear quarterback Chris Venegas has been outstanding thus far as have his receivers Robbie Colenzo and Desmond Carnes. The Bears’ offense appears to be clicking on all cylinders. 

The Bears’ defense has given up 79 points per game, an average of just under 20 points per game. Warren’s defense also appears to be tightening up and playing well.

Coach Lara, his staff and players will conclude their preseason schedule at the end of the St. Paul game later tonight. The Bears will observe their bye week next week and will open league play when they host Lynwood at Warren on October 6. 

The Bears will host cross-town rival Downey for their annual city showdown on Oct. 27.


■ The St. John Bosco football team defeated Dorsey at Mission Viejo High School last Friday night, 69-14. With the win, the Braves improved to 3-1 while Dorsey fell to 0-3. 

St. John Bosco travels to Washington, D.C. to play St. John’s this week. The St. John’s Cadets are currently 2-1 and ranked 46th nationally. 

The game against St. John’s will mark the end of the preseason for the Braves. St. John Bosco will have their bye week next week in order to get injured players healthy and to prepare for the start of league play. 

St. John Bosco will begin Trinity League play when they travel to Orange Coast College to play Orange Lutheran on October 6. The highly anticipated game against nationally top ranked Mater Dei will be the following week, October 13.  

In the St. John Bosco/Dorsey game the Braves scored early and often. The Braves led 35-0 at the end of the first quarter after scoring five unanswered touchdowns. St. John Bosco continued their offensive assault with three more unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter and led 56-0 heading into the locker room at halftime.

The Braves rested their starters in the second half. St. John Bosco scored six more points in the third quarter and led 62-0 at the end of three quarters of play. Dorsey finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter and outscored the Braves 14-7. It was too little too late for the Dons as St. John Bosco won easily 69-14.

Coach Negro, his staff and players are all looking forward to the start of league play. St. John Bosco will begin another run at a league, C.I.F., state and national titles. The Braves are currently ranked fourth nationally and second in California.


■The SPXMA football team currently has an overall record of 1-3 and will begin Academy League play when they host Crean Lutheran of Irvine on Friday. The Warriors compete in C.I.F. Division 13 and in the Academy League. 

The Academy League consists of four schools. Those four schools are SPXMA, Crean Lutheran, Orange Vista and St. Margaret’s. As of week four, St. Margaret’s is 3-1, Crean Lutheran is 2-2, Orange Vista is 1-3 and as previously stated, SPXMA is 1-3.

The Warriors were defeated by the Webb Schools of Claremont at home 44-7 in week one, were defeated by Montclair at Montclair 56-6 in week two and defeated Panorama at home 26-18 in week three to earn their first win of the season. The Warriors were defeated by Cantwell-Sacred Heart 32-31 last week in a heartbreaker. 

The Warriors will play St. Margaret’s of San Jan Capistrano next week at home, will play Firebaugh at Firebaugh in week seven, will play Silver Valley of Yermo in week eight before they have their bye week in week nine. SPXMA will use their bye week to get injured players back on the field and to rest up for the conclusion of their season.

The Warriors will host Orange Vista of Perris in week ten and will conclude their regular season against Bosco Tech of Rosemead at Bosco Tech in week eleven.

Coach Butler, his staff and players are all looking forward to the start of Academy League play and competing for a playoff spot.

'Home,' an uplifting story about American history, coming to Long Beach's International City Theatre

LONG BEACH -- There's no place like home -- at least according to playwright Sam-Art Williams, whose inventive and lyrically expressive "Home" opens Oct. 20 at International City Theatre and runs through Nov. 5. 

Donathan Walters plays prodigal son Cephus Miles, an orphan who leaves his family's farm in North Carolina to seek refuge and prosperity in the north. 

Leilani Smith and Angela Thomas portray more than 25 characters over the course of Cephus' epic journey from adolescence to adulthood, as he struggles to stay true to himself amid a rapidly changing and turbulent America. 


Spanning the 1950s through the Vietnam War and Civil Rights era, hurdles, and setbacks continuously obstruct Cephus' road to happiness. But he perseveres and always manages to remain upbeat. 

Williams, who was born in the small town of Burgaw, NC (population 1,700), was living on 47th Street in New York and the holidays were approaching when a longing for home inspired this play.

“The Vietnam War was raging at that particular time, so I wanted to do a positive play about a country character who was yearning for his home, as I was doing at Christmas,” Williams said in an interview. “I drew on my experience growing up in the country — plowing mules, cropping tobacco, bootleggers, going to church. The rest was my imagination. I wanted to do something that could be performed on the streets — I love street theater. And I wanted my character to have a conscience.”

"Home" runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Oct. 20 through Nov. 5. Two preview performances take place on Wednesday, Oct. 18 and Thursday, Oct. 19, both at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $47 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $49 on Saturdays and Sundays, except for Oct. 20 (opening night) for which tickets are $55 and include a post-show reception at Utopia Restaurant. Low-priced tickets to previews are $35.

International City Theatre has formed a community partnership with the African American community in Long Beach to raise funds for college scholarships and to bring students to the production. A Community Partnership Package, which includes a pre-performance Gala dinner as well as the post-show reception with the actors on opening night, is $125; tables of 10 are available for $1,200.

International City Theatre is located in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. For reservations and information, call 562-436-4610 or go to

Letter to the Editor: Immigration proposals

Dear Editor: 

I'd like to address illegal immigration with series of proposals.

The first thing to point out, though, is that there is a difference between illegal immigration and illegal immigrants. Congress' last major attempt to "fix" illegal immigration under President Reagan focused mainly on illegal immigrants. And despite Reagan's promise that the law wasn't just another amnesty, that's exactly what it turned out to be: an amnesty that encouraged more illegal immigration. 

If the goal is really to reduce illegal immigration (that is the goal, correct?) then yet another amnesty - even "an amnesty to end all amnesties", or an amnesty with a border wall, or an amnesty with more enforcement - isn't the solution. Permanent policy changes need to be instituted which reduce the drivers of illegal immigration.

Here are my suggestions

1) End "birthright citizenship". Yes, this is a Constitutional Amendment, and amending the Constitution is a major step. but we've amended the Constitution to prohibit alcohol (18th Amendment) and then amended it again to repeal the prohibition (21st Amendment). If we can dither on whether alcohol should be legal or not, surely, we can amend our Constitution for something this important. Birthright citizenship is an unintended consequence of making former slaves citizens, and no longer serves its original purpose. Instead, what it does is create the phenomena of "birth tourism" and "anchor babies"; and once children are born as American citizens the cry then becomes to "not split up families". So, lets not split up families- let's mandate that children born in the USA are born with their parents' citizenship. 

2) Make English the official language of the United States. Another Constitutional amendment! A very smart friend of mine once said, "There are no nations, only language groups". His point was that people identify themselves primarily by the language that they speak, not lines on a map.

After all, he said, look at Poland: Sometimes it was a very large nation, sometimes it disappeared from the map for decades at a time. And yet, it always reappeared, because there was a large group of people who spoke a common language and identified themselves and each other as "Polish".

A common language is also a practical requirement. This doesn't mean that other languages are prohibited, simply that government and business aren't required to provide services in other languages (except as required by treaty). 

3) Withdraw from "free trade" agreements. NAFTA is widely recognized as having driven Mexican corn farmers out of business, leading many to seek work in the border maquiladoras or here in the USA. This was a purposeful result of NAFTA, which sought to allocate certain kinds of production to each nation which, in the view of the negotiators, was "most efficient" (eg. corn to the USA, cheap labor to Mexico). This arrangement of interlocking, interdependent, international production (like the old Soviet Union) may be more "efficient" but it is incredibly fragile to natural, political, and economic shocks. My own view is that, for security, durability, and financial reasons, each nation should be as self-sufficient as possible. "Free trade" agreements also exploit people because they're negotiated and enforced in secret conferences and tribunals, outside of democratic input. The entities which wind up benefiting the most from "free trade" agreements are the transnationals who play one labor force against another. We should end our participation in anything other than the WTO. 

4) It must be recognized that part of the reason for poverty in Central and South America is the USA's constant interference in domestic governments of other nations, in favor of banks, transnational corporations, and the elite. Land reform and social justice movements were often thwarted by the USA; military juntas were often supplied with weapons, intel, and training from USA AID and other organizations. The United States should adopt a policy of non-intervention in foreign governments. Democratic processes in other nations should be allowed to function without intervention so that each nation can seek its own path. 

5) Chinese immigrants have told me how wealthy Chinese exploit one kind of visa by sponsoring their parents and then setting them up on benefits. Technical professionals tell me how H-1B visas suppress American wages. But we have something like 60 different non-citizenship visas, and about as many citizenship-path visas. Those roughly 120 different sets of requirements are impossible to enforce. We need to simplify our system, attach fewer benefits (such as Medicare) to our non-citizenship visas, and find a way to be able to identify and deport those who overstay their visas. 

6) Also, there should be a standard procedure for citizenship. When I listen to those who have gone through the process, I have to say that there doesn't seem to be any set procedure; the requirements seem to be quixotic and changeable, a person is told one thing by one person and another thing by another person. This is almost as bad as our tax and Social Security laws.

Once those policies changes are in place, we can address immigrants. 

I would suggest that any law-abiding immigrant who's been living here long-term (say, 20 years) be given the opportunity for citizenship. The requirements for citizenship should be strictly enforced ... especially the requirement to learn English. (By the way, if one is required to learn English to be a citizen, why does California provide voting materials in so many languages? Apparently, we don't take the English-language requirement very seriously.) People who are here in the USA simply to earn money, but whose allegiances and identity are elsewhere ... do we really need them here? For those who've been here for less time, or who don’t want to become citizens .... provide a two-year visa to give people a chance to transition back to their native country. In the meantime, the government should continue to enforce our immigration laws, and deport those who are here illegally, starting with those who’ve broken our laws (aside from immigration laws). 

There is much here for people at either end of the political spectrum to hate, but there is much here for people to agree with. I hope this will start a more productive conversation, focused on real policy changes and not on irrelevant ideas, on how to fairly and lawfully address our immigration issues.

Joan Niertit

Letter to the Editor: Riverbed clean-up

Dear Editor:

Approximately four weeks ago, Blue Ocean Environmental Services began cleanup of debris left behind by the now-vacated homeless encampments in the San Gabriel Riverbed. That provided immediate safety relief for regular users of the park and those that hike or bike the riverbed trail. 

Additionally, this past Saturday approximately 100 students and staff (Downey and Warren) volunteered their morning to continue cleanup in the riverbed. I’m very thankful for their services but know that safety precautions need to be heeded for the safety of students (vest, proper attire, gloves, bags, training).

While commended for their cleanup efforts, the riverbed is still in need of removal of other debris especially on or along the trail path. Hopefully, other community volunteer groups can contact the City of Downey or the Los Angeles County Public Works office to coordinate a work party to continue removal of much unsightly debris along the pathway.

My concern now is the dense amount of brush that now has dried out between Florence and Firestone. I believe it poses a great fire danger and this will require professional
services to cut and clear.

Hopefully, this can also be coordinated and accomplished before the rainy season begins. 

Jim Weidner

L.A. Football Weekly Roundup: Rams show potential in season-opener

The Los Angeles Rams brought in the Sean McVay era with a bang last weekend defeating the Colts at home, 46-9. 

Sean McVay will face his former team this Sunday. Photo by Keith Allison, creative commons license

Sean McVay will face his former team this Sunday. Photo by Keith Allison, creative commons license

Indianapolis limped into the Coliseum without their star QB Andrew Luck and the Rams capitalized. They made a statement with the decisive victory to kick off the new season. 

The Rams’ stout defense scored more points than they allowed. The Rams defense scored 16 of their 46 points, including two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns and a safety.

Jared Goff was sensational in his first NFL win, throwing for over 300 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, he didn’t throw an interception in the game. He looked composed in the pocket and was accurate throwing downfield, connecting on 21-of-29 attempts. 

Goff looked in midseason form as he utilized his new weapons on the outside and made smart reads. Coach McVay has already earned a reputation of molding young raw talent into formidable QBs and looks like he has already made an impact on his second year QB.

As the season continues, the chemistry between Goff and his new weapons will continue to improve. Sammy Watkins, rookie Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods will help Tavon Austin stretch defenses, which will inevitably open up some holes in the running game for Todd Gurley to exploit.

Every other team in the NFC West lost last weekend, so the Rams are in first place and look to continue their winning ways this Sunday against McVay’s old squad, the Washington Redskins.
McVay is at least partially responsible for Kirk Cousin’s success in Washington. If anyone knows Cousin’s weaknesses, it is McVay. He will be scheming with Rams’ defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to insure their stingy defense can put them in position to string together their second win of the season.

The Chargers:
The Los Angeles Chargers were dominated through three quarters at Mile High Stadium last Monday night by the Denver Broncos, but in true Philip Rivers fashion, it came down to a tipped fourth quarter field goal. 

Photo by SD Dirk, creative commons license.

Photo by SD Dirk, creative commons license.

The Broncos have arguably the best defense in the league, but Rivers is one of the most competitive QBs in the history of the league and loves to show out in inner divisional matchups.

Broncos QB Trevor Siemian suddenly seemed to be constantly under fire in the fourth quarter, and his wideouts well covered. 

The Chargers defense forced two late turnovers that led to a couple of quick touchdowns. 

Chargers’ standout defensive end, Joey Bosa, managed to get better and better penetration as the game wore on, creating havoc in the backfield.

On the other side of the ball, the Chargers’ Keenan Allen was ready to make an impact after being hurt last year and being relatively quiet all game. Allen caught a touchdown making the game interesting late in the fourth.

But the Chargers’ hope of a comeback win was deflected by Denver’s defensive end, Shelby Harris, when he managed to tip rookie kicker, Younghoe Koo’s second attempt to force the game into overtime. 

Bronco’s first year head coach Vance Joseph attempted to ice Koo by calling a timeout a split-second before Koo booted his first try through the uprights, wiping off the tying three points from the board and forcing the South Korean kicker to make the biggest kick of his life, twice.
This time Harris got a better push and put an end to the Chargers’ courageous comeback attempt.

It was a tough loss that will sting for a while and could haunt them later down the road.
The loss puts them in last place in the AFC West as the rest of the division won their respective games.

Next game is Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins at the StubHub Center in Carson. The Dolphins game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was postponed last week due to Hurricane Irma that ripped through the entire Sunshine State. 

Brian Smith

April 2, 1956 - August 21, 2017

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Brian Smith lifetime Downey resident passed away at home on August 21st at the age of 61 years old on the day of the total solar eclipse. He always knew how to make a grand entrance or exit. Brian graduated from Downey High School and attended Rio Hondo College. He volunteered tirelessly for the Downey Junior Athletic Association for many years as a coach and mentor and later running the snack bar. Brian worked at Power Drives and Chains for over 36 years eventually becoming the president of the company. If you knew Brian then you knew there was never a story he met that he didn’t like to tell. Brian was a husband, father, uncle, brother, and son and will be greatly missed by all of us. In Brian’s memory we ask that you take a moment to reach out to someone you care about and let them know how much they mean to you.

Alberto Mendoza

March 29, 1932 - September 1, 2017

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Alberto Mendoza passed away on September 1st at 3:30 pm at St. Francis Hospital at the age of 83 from natural causes. Alberto was born in Mexico on March 29, 1934 and has lived in Downey for the past 18 years. He raised 6 children, all of them are still alive. His ashes will be taken to Mexico to be buried alongside his wife of many years as he wished. He will be in our heart forever. We love you Padres, tus hijos Pablo, Alberto, Ricardo, Soledad, Pilar and Arely.