Cerritos College Board in search of new appointment to fill Drayer’s trustee seat

NORWALK – Cerritos Community College District’s Board of Trustees announced on April 20 that it will accept letters of interest with statements of qualifications for appointment to fill a board vacancy created by the resignation of board member John Paul Drayer on April 11.

John Paul Drayer (Facebook)

John Paul Drayer (Facebook)

Those interested in an appointment to the vacant trustee position for the remainder of Drayer’s term may submit a letter of interest with statement of qualifications directly to Cerritos College President Dr. Jose Fierro at 11110 Alondra Blvd. no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 18. 

While not required, candidates may also submit a letter of recommendation as a part of their application package. Drayer’s term ends in November 2018. 
The college said letters of interest will be reviewed for the following characteristics: commitment to enhancement and further development of Cerritos College; familiarity with community; familiarity with college; commitment to higher education; enhancement of current board’s skills base; and added value that the candidate brings.
On Tuesday, May 30, the college said it will notify candidates of open interviews.  Open interviews will take place at the Board of Trustees’ regular meeting on Wednesday, June 7 at 7 p.m.
Interested applicants must reside in the Cerritos Community College Trustee Area 3, which includes portions of the cities of Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, and South Gate.
For questions or for more information regarding the vacant board seat, contact the Cerritos College President’s Office by phone at (562) 860-2451, ex 2204.

14 Downey schools named to California honor roll

More than a dozen Downey Unified schools have been selected by the Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE) as 14 of the 1,866 public schools in California to receive the title of 2016 Honor Roll School, it was announced last week. 

Along with this distinction, the Downey Unified School District as a whole was selected as one of 20 public school districts to receive the paralleling title of 2016 Honor Roll School District.

The schools within Downey Unified that have received the title of 2016 Honor Roll School are: Alameda Elementary, Downey High, Gallatin Elementary, Griffiths Middle, Imperial Elementary, Lewis Elementary, Old River Elementary, Price Elementary, Rio San Gabriel Elementary, Stauffer Middle, Unsworth Elementary, Ward Elementary, Warren High and Williams Elementary.

The Honor Roll is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and highlight successful practices that improve outcomes for students. Schools receiving this distinction from leaders in the California academic and business communities have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations.
For high schools, the Honor Roll recognition also includes measures of college readiness. The Honor Roll is comprised of two different awards, the “Star School” Award and “Scholar School” Award.
CBEE Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over time.  CBEE Scholar Schools are schools that are showing significant levels of academic achievement, but do not have a significant socio-economically disadvantaged student population.
All 14 Downey Unified schools mentioned have received the title of being a 2016 Honor Roll School, as well as being awarded as Star Schools.
“We are so proud to be recognized by leaders in the California business community as an Honor Roll School,” said Downey Unified Superintendent, Dr. John Garcia. “Our teachers and administrators work tirelessly to keep the focus on high expectations, student academic achievement and continuously improve our practices. This hard work and dedication is paying off for all of our students, no matter their background.”

The California Honor Roll program is made possible with generous support from numerous businesses and organizations including Automobile Club of Southern California, Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Enterprise Holdings Foundation and several private foundations.

“We are proud to recognize those schools and school districts who are succeeding in putting their students on a path of productivity that not only leads to success in the classroom, but also prepares them to contribute to and benefit from a more productive economy,” said Greg Jones, ERP and CBEE Board Chairman. “Leadership from both education and the business community is critical to linking success from one system to the next, and ensuring that students have the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve a college degree and the financial security of a living wage job.”

The Honor Roll is a school recognition program that uses only academic achievement data showing improved academic growth over time and a closing of the achievement gap.
“The Honor Roll proves that many schools are doing well, even those with high numbers of historically disadvantaged students,” said Jim Lanich, ERP President and CEO.  “These schools are clearly doing something right and all schools, no matter what zip code they are in, can achieve this kind of success. School and school district leadership have a great opportunity to find out what’s working at these Honor Roll Schools and replicate it.”
A full list of the Honor Roll schools, districts can be found here.

Paging Dr. Frischer: Travel

You are taking the trip of your dreams to exotic ______ (fill in the blank!). But, hold on: what diseases might you encounter? What vaccinations will you need? What medicines should you pack?

If you ask your primary care doctor, and he or she is anything like me, the answers you get will be incomplete.

Diseases, epidemics, and required vaccines are always in a state of flux, changing from month to month, week to week, and sometimes even day to day. Where should you go for accurate and up-to-the-minute information?

There are a number of excellent websites that will answer many of your questions, but three in particular are current and reliable:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website issues Travel Health Notices. These notices inform travelers and health care professionals about current health issues around the world, as well as any special events or natural disasters that might pose health risks.

*Watch Level 1* recommends usual travel precautions. At this time, Level 1 warnings include various measles and Chikungunya virus warnings.

*Alert Level 2* advises exercising enhanced precautions. Most level 2 warnings currently involve Zika virus outbreaks, as well as some malaria and yellow fever.

*Warning Level 3* instructs that all nonessential travel to those areas should be avoided. As
I write this, there are no current Level 3 warnings.

Also helpful on the CDC website is a packing list of health-related items, including, as required, pharmaceutical prescriptions, glasses with a spare pair, contact lenses with spares and related supplies, diabetes testing supplies, needles and syringes, inhalers, Epi pen, and a medical alert

Typical over-the-counter medicines to pack might be antacids, diarrhea medicine, antihistamines, motion sickness medicine, cough drops and liquids, decongestants, pain medicine, laxatives, and sleep aids. Also suggested are hand sanitizer, water purification tablets, insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses and hat, and earplugs.

A basic first aid kit is described, along with a list of paperwork to pack, like health insurance
information, a detailed medication list with doses and frequency, and emergency contacts.

Check to see whether there are any required or recommended travel vaccinations for your destination. While your primary care doctor may have access to some vaccines, you will typically need to visit a travel doctor (a doctor who is a specialist in preventive medical care while traveling) or a travel clinic if you need to be vaccinated for yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, cholera, hepatitis E, tick borne encephalitis, etc.

Visit the website of the World Health Organization (WHO) for information regarding disease outbreaks or areas with danger of violence.

Lastly, I recommend the *U.S. Department of State’s* Travel Alerts for important information on short-term events, listed by country. A Travel Alert might include an election season that is likely to have strikes, demonstrations, or disturbances; a health alert like an outbreak of H1N1
flu, or evidence of an elevated risk of terrorist attacks.

Travel has become easier and more affordable, and as a result, our world has become smaller. However, it is also much more complex. I urge you to become as educated as possible about your destination, so that you can have the safest and most enjoyable trip possible.

Alternative Medicine: The human energy field

Did you know that all living things have an invisible source of energy? Throughout history, tradition, culture and religion it is referred to as Life Force, Chi, Prana, Mana or divine energy. The difference: only the spelling.

Our bodies are an intricate and complex manufacturing and production powerhouse. It’s composed of many systems that serve very important functions. In the same fashion the chakras and the aura serve a purpose.

The word Chakra derives from the Sanskrit word meaning “wheel”. To help us put things into perspective let’s use the breathing as an example. We mammals breathe in oxygen that nourishes our cells. It’s distributed by an intricate circulatory system.  The same system manages the retrieval of the cells byproduct, which we exhale as carbon dioxide. In this same fashion the chakras draw in an invisible source of energy from the earth, air, water, solar elements. Basically our environment.  That is part of the reason why when in a toxic environment we tend to feel drained. 

The question asked the most (I know because I asked it many times) is: This is quackery, new age stuff, and or woo woo junk. Tell me this – is oxygen real? “YES duh” this was my answer :-) . Are you sure? Oxygen is not visible to the human eye, so how do we know it exist? 

Try this mini experiment but not while driving:

Exhale...exhale….exhale…exhale… Can we as a human being survive solely on exhaling?
Inhale...inhale….inhale…inhale… Can we as a human being survive solely on inhaling?

The answer is “No” to both. Oxygen like this invisible energy exists and is very real. Both measurable yet invisible to the human eye. The million dollar question you should be asking is: How do we quantify or measure this source of energy. Same as anything else study and educate yourself. Make your conclusion based off of intelligently analysis. Empty the cup of knowledge and fill it with something knew and exciting! I highly recommend the following book: The Chakras and their Functions by Master Choa Kok Sui. This book tremendously helped fill my cup after I reluctantly emptied it. Something new in uncharted territory can be scary yet empowering. 

Now, let’s talk briefly about the aura. It serves as a protective energy field that surrounds the physical body and its components. Just picture an egg. What is the yolk and chalazae (white stuff) if not for the protective shell? Complete chaos, there would be no egg. What would our internal organs, skeletal, nervous, circulatory system be without our body’s protective skins? Chaos and disarray, right?!

The aura is part of our energy body system. It is also referred to as the bioplasmic body, meaning a living energy body made up of invisible subtle matter. It absorbs, distributes, and energizes the whole physical body with Life Force.

Here’s a simple exercise that helps sensitize the chakras of the palms of your hands. Sit in a comfortable place; do not practice while driving or operating sensitive machinery.   

•    Put your palms together. As if clapping or in prayer position.
•    Gently inhale and exhale.
•    Visualize a bright white ball in-between your palms.
•    Slowly move your hands apart, all while maintaining the rhythm of your gentle breathing. 
•    Visualize the white ball getting bigger and brighter by the second. 
•    Continue to slowly move your hands out. 
•    Repeat this exercise as often as you’d like. 

What did you feel? I’d love to hear from you! 

1 The Chakras and their Functions by Master Choa Kok Sui pg. 6

Have a question regarding this article or maybe you’d like to suggest a topic? Write to me at: m_arrieta@yahoo.com. Next article we will talk about Collective Consciousness 

Marcela A. Arrieta is an alternative modality practitioner with over five years of experience in this field. She is also a successful entrepreneur who resides in Downey.

Measure S oversight committee starts adding members

Update: This article has been updated to include Mayor Pro Tem Sean Ashton's nominee for the committee.

When Downey voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase last November, it included a stipulation that an independent oversight committee would ensure the money was spent as intended: on public safety and quality of life enhancements.

On Tuesday night, the City Council is expected to approve four of those committee members.

Proposed members include:

■ former mayor David Gafin, an accountant by trade, appointed by Councilmember Blanca Pacheco;

■ former mayor Mario Guerra, an insurance broker, appointed by Councilman Alex Saab;

■ former mayor Roger Brossmer, an assistant superintendent at Downey Unified, appointed by Mayor Pro Tem Sean Ashton;

Jeanette Baumann, executive vice president of the Downey Association of Realtors, appointed by Mayor Fernando Vasquez; and

Dorothy Pemberton, a realtor and civic leader, appointed by Councilman Rick Rodriguez. 

The City Council has already begun allocating proceeds from the sales tax measure, also known as Measure S, voting two weeks ago to bolster the Downey Police Department by hiring 10 additional police officers. 

"[Last week's] actions demonstrate our commitment to carry out the voters priorities under Measure S," Mayor Vasquez said in a statement. "By adjusting this year’s budget to include the hiring of ten new officers, we continue to stay true to our commitment in always keeping public safety the city’s number one priority." 



Gordon Sodetani awarded Sister Cities scholarship

By Denise Juarez
President, Downey Sister Cities Association

Downey Sister-Cities Association (DSCA) is one of Downey's oldest associations, started under President Dwight D. Eisenhower's "people to people program." Our organization works on learning about other cultures, customs, and furthering relationships to build bridges, not walls.  
DSCA has many partners we work hand and hand with. Last year, we hosted the 2016 U.S./Mexico Sister Cities National Convention, and this year we helped the city of Pico Rivera host the 2017 national convention.  

At these conventions we give awards to cities that have done exceptional work in developing ways to further enhance relationships with other countries. We also provide scholarships to youths that exemplify excellence in academics and humanitarianism.

This year's winner of the 2017 USMCSA humanitarian scholarship is Downey's very own Gordon Sodetani. 

Martha Sodetani and Mayor Fernando Vasquez. Photo courtesy Denise Juarez

Martha Sodetani and Mayor Fernando Vasquez. Photo courtesy Denise Juarez

He has proven that he gives himself back to his community. He is a youth counselor with the YMCA.  He is a youth and government leader, and has many other achievements. He currently carries a 4.0 at Cal State Long Beach.  

Gordon has been a youth member of Downey Sister Cities Association for more than three years and, God willing, will be attending our dual Sister-Cities visitation to Guadalajara, Jalisco and Fresnillo, Zacatacas, Mexico in August. 

Gordon received the scholarship at a recent City Council meeting. He also shared the night with his mother, Martha Sodetani, who received the Mayor's Healthy Heart Award.

Downey Sister Cities Association meets the third Wednesday of the month at Embassy Suites Downey at 6:30 p.m. We are currently looking for new members.

Del Rio Lanes launches summer program for kids

DOWNEY – Del Rio Lanes is taking sign-ups for a new youth program starting this summer. 
For $10 a week, children can participate in a ten week long program, where they will bowl and eventually be presented with their very own ball. 

A similar program had been offered by the bowling alley for adults in the past to great success. 

“The concept was that if people bowl better or if they have their own equipment they’re likely to bowl more,” said Center Manager Mike Cammarata. “…If you have your own ball, maybe you’ll bowl more often. “If you bowl better - if you’re better at it – maybe you’ll do it more.”

“We had the 10 for 10 program for adults, and it was a success. We signed about 80 people up, and of those 80, when it ended, 80 people now are bowling better and have their own equipment, and about 20 of them joined an additional league.”

According to Cammarata, the alley doesn’t really see any instant profit from the concept, as the cost of the ball that is given away is barely covered by the fees. It is the hope of the alley that the program will cultivate a love of the activity in each individual, eventually leading to more regular bowlers and league sign-ups. 

He also says that this is a good way to give back to the kids in community.

“Junior bowling isn’t a profitable thing most of the time,” said Cammarata. “But if kids like bowling, that’s your league-bowler of the future, your tournament bowler of the future.”
Kids ages 17 and under are now able to be signed up for the program, which will run on Saturdays starting June 10. 

With volleyball title on the line, Downey-Warren set for showdown

DOWNEY – The Warren High School boys’ volleyball team currently has an overall record of 11-6 and are 6-1 in S.G.V.L. play. 

The Bears defeated Dominguez at Warren 3-0 on 4/4, defeated Lynwood at Lynwood 3-0 on 4/6, defeated Paramount at Warren 3-1 on 4/11 and were defeated by Gahr at Gahr 3-1 on 4/13. The loss to Gahr at Gahr has been the only league loss for the Bears.

Warren will host cross-town rival Downey next Tuesday, will travel to Dominguez next Thursday and will host Lynwood on May 2 in their regular season finale. Warren is currently in first place in the most recent S.G.V.L. standings. Downey is currently in second place with an overall record of 14-8 and a league record of 5-1 and Paramount is currently in third place with an overall record of 12-4 and a league record of 3-1. 

Gahr is currently in fourth place with an overall record of 6-12 and a league record of 3-3, Lynwood is currently in fifth place with an overall record of 6-8 and a league record of 1-6 and Dominguez is currently in sixth place with an overall record of 1-6 and a league record of 0-5.
Coach Scott Lane, his staff and players are all looking forward to clinching a league title.

Warren must defeat Downey at home next Tuesday in order to do that. The “cave” will certainly be loud next Tuesday night as city rivals will clash for bragging rights and a league title.    

■ The Warren High School baseball team currently has an overall record of 11-9 and a S.G.V.L. record of 1-3. 

The Bears were defeated by Paramount at Paramount 5-4 on 4/4 and defeated Paramount at Warren 7-4 on 4/7. Warren was defeated by Gahr at Warren 8-0 on 4/11 and were defeated by Gahr at Gahr 2-0 on 4/13. 

The Bears have been competing in the St. Paul Tournament over Spring Break. The Bears are currently 1-2 in that tournament. Warren defeated John Glenn 4-3 on 4/15, were defeated by Long Beach Poly 8-0 on 4/17, were defeated by St. Paul 6-5 in nine innings on 4/18 and were scheduled to play Serra at Downey on 4/19 (score unavailable at press time).

The Bears will continue league play when school resumes next week. Warren will travel to cross-town rival Downey next Tuesday and will host the Vikings next Friday in their away and home series.

Coach Pearson, his staff and players are all looking forward to finishing league play on a strong note. After the away and home series against Downey next week the Bears will play two games against Dominguez and two games against Lynwood. The Bears will also mix in a non-league double header against Hemet at Warren on May 6. 

The playoffs are just around the corner and four teams are looking to secure a line on the C.I.F. postseason bracket.

The Downey Vikings Baseball team went 5-0 in the St. Paul Easter Tournament to win the championship. They defeated Crean Lutheran 11-0.  Jorge Arellano, Andy Hurtado, Adrian Valtierra and Kyle Vasquez were named to the “All-Tournament “ team. Jorge Arella

The Downey Vikings Baseball team went 5-0 in the St. Paul Easter Tournament to win the championship. They defeated Crean Lutheran 11-0. 

Jorge Arellano, Andy Hurtado, Adrian Valtierra and Kyle Vasquez were named to the “All-Tournament “ team. Jorge Arella

■ The Downey High School baseball team currently has an overall record of 11-8 and are 4-0 in S.G.V.L. play. 

The Vikings swept a home and away series against Dominguez. Downey defeated Dominguez at Downey 13-0 on 4/4 and defeated Dominguez at Dominguez 14-2 on 4/7.

Downey also swept an away and home series against Lynwood. The Vikings defeated Lynwood at Lynwood 6-5 in eight innings on 4/11 and defeated Lynwood at Downey 10-0 on 4/13.
The Vikings have been competing in the St Paul Tournament over Spring Break where they currently have a record of 3-0. Downey defeated Schurr 10-7 on 4/15, defeated Mary Star of the Sea 7-4 on 4/17, defeated St. Francis 2-0 on 4/18 and were scheduled to play Crean Lutheran on Wednesday (score unavailable at press time).

Downey will resume their league schedule when they return from Spring Break. The Vikings will host cross-town rival Warren next Tuesday and will then travel to Warren on Friday to complete their home and away season series.

After the Warren series the Vikings will play two games against Gahr and will then conclude their regular season schedule with two games against Paramount. Downey has gotten off to a solid league start and will now begin the more challenging part of their schedule.

Coach Gonzalez, his staff and players are all looking forward to finishing the league schedule strong and making a playoff run. Four league teams are all competing for a line on the C.I.F. postseason bracket. 

■ The Downey High School boys’ swim team currently has an overall record of 9-1 and is currently 1-0 in San Gabriel Valley League competition. 

Downey defeated cross-town rival Warren 89-81 in their first league contest at the Downey Aquatics Center. This dual meet was the closest competition between the two schools in the last five years. Downey has dominated league competition the last several years and this year Warren pushed Downey until the end.

Downey was led individually by seniors Marcus Powell, Dominik Del Carpio and John Choi. Powell placed first in the 100 yard breaststroke and Del Carpio and Choi placed first and second in the 50 yard freestyle, respectively.

Junior Nathan Lopez placed first in the 200 Individual Medley. The 200 freestyle relay also took first place. Coach Delhousay is very proud of the way his team responded to such a close meet. According to Coach Delhousay, “league prelims and finals will be very competitive this year.”

Coach Delhousay, his staff and swimmers are all looking forward to finishing up league competition, prelims and finals on a strong note. As it appears now, Downey and Warren will both be well represented in C.I.F. postseason competition. 

DUSD sending 300 students to SkillsUSA state competition

DOWNEY -- A group of over 300 DUSD students will travel to San Diego over the weekend to compete in the SkillsUSA State Competition.

This competition brings together the top SkillsUSA students from across the state of California to compete in areas of technical and soft skills. Downey Unified will be represented by a group of high school, middle school and adult school students.
On April 13, Warren High School (WHS) hosted the first of two SkillsUSA banquets that are held to honor Downey Unified’s SkillsUSA students who are currently competing. Held at the Rio Hondo Event Center, this evening concluded with the 2017 SkillsUSA Student of the Year award being presented to a student for embodying an exemplar competitor within the SkillsUSA realm at WHS.  

Currently a senior and President of the SkillsUSA California Chapter, WHS’ Tori Real was presented with this prestigious award.
Downey High School will be hosting their banquet on Thursday, April 27, 2017, succeeding the return of their students from San Diego.
Spanning a three-day-period, from April 20-23, Downey Unified students will be competing in various technical and soft skill competitions such as: Crime Scene Investigation, Quiz Bowl, Carpentry, Engineering Technology/Design, Broadcast News Production, Information and Technology, Plumbing, Mobile Robotics, Career Pathway Showcase: Health Science, Electrical Construction Wiring, Masonry, Esthetics, Principles of Engineering Technology, Community Service, Health Knowledge Bowl, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Architectural Drafting and Robotics: Urban Search and Rescue.
Currently with over 15,000 school chapters, Downey Unified is one of the largest chapter involved in SkillsUSA, with one or more students qualifying for Nationals every year since 2009. Last year, resulted in 500 students competing in the Regional Championships, 225 qualifying for the State Championships, 26 making it to Nationals and ultimately culminating with four finishing as National Champions.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Launched in 1967, this National Championship has grown from 54 competitors in three contests to more than 6,000 competitors in 99 hands-on occupational and leadership skill areas.
Adding contests to the championships to meet the demands of new and expanding occupations, their affiliated instructional programs represent 130 different occupational areas.   Downey Unified has grown exponentially within SkillsUSA and is dedicated to do whatever it takes to provide hands-on job related experience to students, providing them with the tools to be both globally competitive, and college and career ready.

Shared Stories: My first experience baking bread

Belle Fluhart recalls a serious baking error that many of us can sympathize with – misreading the recipe.  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 Belle Fluhart

I was 12 years old during the Depression. My three older brothers were 18, 19 ½, and 21 years old.

When I started the 7th grade, I was delighted that I would have a class in sewing and a class in cooking. One semester sewing, the next cooking, every year.

In the cooking class we were making bread. The first day we copied the recipe from the black board, and talked about what we were going to do. The next day, we measured out the liquid and yeast, and mixed the liquid ingredients together and left it for the yeast to do what it’s supposed to do. I think it’s called proofing. The third day we mixed in the flour to make a dough.

In no time I realized that something was wrong, because it was not making a dough. I was adding more and more flour.

I had misread the recipe where it said to add ¼ cup of water, and I had actually added 1 ¼ cup of water. The teacher was watching me, but doing nothing. I realized that she was wondering what I was going to do.

I got some more yeast and put in more salt. I don’t remember the other ingredients, but I put in whatever was necessary to make up for all of this flour it was taking to make dough.

I mixed the dough, made a round ball, and put the oil on it. Then I found a big bowl and left it to rise overnight. The next day, I had a great, big ball of dough where I was supposed to have a little ball. I put flour on my board and started kneading the dough.  


By this time, I was so embarrassed. I was just kneading the dough. I could feel the enmity of my fellow classmates. Everyone in this room hated me because I had a great, big ball of dough and everyone else had a little ball that could be held in the palm of one hand.

I wished I could crawl under a rock and just disappear. But there was no rock. I started to cry. I wasn’t looking up. I just kept kneading and kneading that dough.

Suddenly, the teacher was at my elbow. She said, “I went over to the cafeteria and borrowed a bread pan.”

At that, I looked up and the teacher was smiling. I quickly dried my tears and oiled the pan, formed the loaf, and put it in the pan. I put it up to rise and went home.

The next day we all baked our bread. I had to allow extra time for my big loaf. When the bread was baked, and beautifully browned, the teacher wanted me to cut it so she could taste it.

I pleaded with her to let me take it home so I could cut it where my brothers could see it. She said, “All right, if you promise that you will bring me a piece tomorrow.”

When I got home, my brothers grabbed the bread and one was starting to cut it.

I said, “The teacher made me promise to bring her a piece so she could try it.” My brother with the knife said, “The teacher gets the first slice.”

He cut the first slice and wrapped it up. He said, “Don’t forget to take it tomorrow morning.” I said, “I’m going to put it with my books.”

The first thing I did the next morning was to take the bread to the teacher. She took a bite and said, “That’s delicious.”

At the end of the semester, the teacher was preparing to pass around the report cards.
She said, “It has never been my practice to give anyone an A+, but this semester, I’m giving a student an A+. She doesn’t always do things right. In fact, she makes some great, big mistakes. But she always is able to compensate for her mistakes and make an edible product. And in these days, it’s so very important to not waste food.”

I was very happy, and couldn’t wait to take my report card home to show my brothers.

Letter to the Editor: Credit to Trump

Dear Editor:

President Trump deserves credit for what he did in Syria. Our Congresswoman Lucille Roybal Allard was correct when she said (4/13/17) that it was " the appropriate response to the Assad regime's despicable chemical attack." I agree.

The problem in Syria, however, goes beyond the war. This war is an example of the catastrophic consequences of climate change from global warming.

The costs of the war in Syria are staggering: It has claimed almost half a million lives, wounded close to 2 million people, generated 4.8 million refugees and displaced almost 7 million people within Syria.

As we look deeper into the causes of the Syrian war, one sees global warming as a principal one, perhaps the main one. 

Starting in 2006, Syria suffered its worst drought in 900 years; it ruined farms, forced as many as 1.5 million rural people to crowd into cities alongside Iraqi refugees and decimated the country’s livestock. Water became scarce and food expensive. The suffering and social chaos caused by the drought were important drivers of the initial unrest.

Climate scientists have stated that global warming very likely exacerbated the historic drought, thanks to potentially permanent changes to wind and rainfall patterns. 

Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL), an organization of volunteers, is working to combat global warming with a proposal to put a federal price on carbon-based fossil fuels with all the fees collected returned to each household.

So, it is a welcome sign that our President is concerned about Syria and its children.

We hope our President will extend his concern to global warming and begin to act accordingly, for the protection of our country and our planet.

Guido Rivero