Steve Martin, Martin Short to headline OC Fair concert series


COSTA MESA -- Steve Martin, Martin Short and Kool & The Gang will headline this summer’s Pacific Amphitheatre concert series at the Orange County Fair. 

More performers are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. 

The a cappela group Straight No Chaser will perform July 8, with crooner Jon McLaughlin opening. This is a pre-fair concert but tickets still include free admission to the fair. Tickets start at $27.50.

On July 18, ‘70s funk and R&B band Kool & The Gang perform. They’re best known for hits such as “Get Down On It,” “Cherish” and “Ladies Night.”

The Village People will open the show. Tickets start at $30.

The comedy duo of Steve Martin and Martin Short perform their smart mix of musical comedy July 20. Opening for them is bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers and jazz artist Jeff Babko.

Tickets start at $55. 

Country music songwriter Brett Eldredge hits the stage July 29 as he performs hits like “Wanna Be That Song,” “Mean to Me” and his latest single, “The Long Way.” 

L.A. darlings Honey Country will open the show. Tickets start at $45.

Downey Crime Report: Jan. 22, 2018

Friday, January 12:
At 7:40 p.m., officers located a parked stolen vehicle in the Vallarta parking lot (7900 Imperial Hwy.). When the driver returned to the vehicle, he was arrested for grand theft auto.

Saturday, January 13:
At 2:50 a.m., officers stopped a vehicle on the 9100 block of Margaret St. Officers discovered approximately 1 pound of methamphetamine inside the vehicle. The driver was arrested for possession of drugs for sale, a felony.

Sunday, January 14:
At 12:30 a.m., officers located a stolen vehicle in the area of Firestone Blvd. and Paramount Blvd. Officers stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver for grand theft auto.

Letter to the Editor: The beauty of Wilderness Park

Dear Editor: 

Wilderness Park, the city of Downey’s gift to its residents, is a place worth visiting for its memorable duck pond but the park has so much to offer besides that. 

The park has a trail that can be walked or jogged with a jungle gym that consists of two child forts on opposites sides of each other while in a sand pit with a pirate ship in the middle. This park is connected to the San Gabriel trail which is a popular biking route for many cyclists and it allows dogs if they are leashed up during the visit. 

These are some of the reasons why people love this park and keep coming back to it. “I love coming to this park to jog, I don’t always jog here but it’s nicer and more natural than going to the gym” said Joseph, of Downey. “The kids love this park” said Jose, of Norwalk. “I’ve been to multiple parks but this one has jungle gyms for all ages. Plus, it’s nice that it’s never too packed. Oh! Also, it’s nice that it’s quiet.” 

Those are some of the few comments residents and visitors say about Wilderness Park. One resident even complimented the park by calling it “Downey’s hidden gem” because the park is so hidden and beautiful. 

Therefore, more residents and visitors should come visit Wilderness Park because of its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere.

William Burgess


Letter to the Editor: Girl power

Dear Editor:

What these girls did to support victims of domestic violence is an incredible step in teaching young beings about dangerous relationships. (“Fourth and Fifth Grade Girls Step Up to Help Domestic Violence Victims,” 12/28/18)

It’s good to know that schools in Downey are teaching their students about this issue, and that clubs like Girl Power are able to contribute in helping victims get through their trauma simply by offering gifts and necessities.

Other schools, on the other hand, fail to recognize things like this; domestic violence must be pointed out as soon as possible. The more awareness, the better the lives of our future children will be if they were to form relationships on their own. Not only could this be a good way to keep them aware and alerted, but it will help them pinpoint the slightest clues of an abusive relationship, and understand when and where to find help.

Props to these young girls for engaging in a helpful act like this, hope to see more of our young generation participate in events like these.

Jazlyn Contreras


Letter to the Editor: Moratorium on new housing

Dear Editor:

Motorists in Downey are slowly realizing that traffic flow is becoming increasingly paralyzed on major arteries during key periods of the day. 

Frustrated drivers are more frequently taking alternate routes on formerly less traveled side streets. Those side streets, many with cracked tar surfaces that remind one of the driving stone cobbled streets of old Europe, are acquiring potholes faster than repair crews can patch them.
There is an often-unwritten rule of planning commissions and city councils that cities should not encourage housing explosions that outstrip that city’s infrastructure.

Clearly Downey officials are on a mission to approve condo construction popping up all over the city like morning mushrooms. In addition, tacky mini-mansions are repeatedly replacing single family dwellings. Making more housing available might be laudable if this area actually had a housing shortage. The reality is that many multi-family groups chose to move to Downey because of the school system and/or pseudo-prestige that the city has historically demonstrated.

From the city’s perspective, a larger population density translates to a greater need for commercial services that enrich the city’s coffers. Do we really need more fast food outlets with concomitant obesity and health issues?

I think that a housing construction moratorium is in order to allow the city sufficient time to reevaluate its commitment to a realistic approach to a viable infrastructure.

R. Davis


Shared Stories: Oprah and Morehouse College

Watching Oprah on the Golden Globe awards reminded Kay Halsey of a visit to Morehouse College with her father when she was a little girl.  It made her think of service to others and Martin Luther King, Jr.  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 Kay Halsey

Ninety-four years ago during the 1920’s my father took me to Morehouse College to a Christmas concert.  I was mesmerized by the magnificent men’s voices singing, “Oh come, oh come, Emanuel,” as they marched in, dressed in black robes.

Atlanta, Georgia, was a segregated city in those days, and the college was for Negro men.  It was a time of the greatest depression in America’s history.  The birth of Jesus was celebrated in all the Christian churches at that time with carols known to all.

I was surprised when I watched the 2018 Golden Globe awards that Oprah Winfrey had financed the education of 415 men at that college for $320,000.  Many of these men went on to have professional jobs.  

Oprah had, during her lifetime, financed 64,688 scholarships to other colleges also.  Oprah believed in Emanuel who taught men to love one another.

I am 97 years old now and have spent a lifetime trying to live a life of service to others, as Emanuel taught us to love one another.  I have touched hundreds of people, teaching and relating to their needs.  I notice however that Christmas and Thanksgiving today are influenced by buying, decorating and eating.  Prizes are given for the best decorations, what we see.  

Oprah was not born when Morehouse College was established.  Nor was Martin Luther King, Jr. yet born.  It was what they did that changed the lives of so many people.  

Love one another.  The things we dream about, Love, Joy, and Peace, are possible if we care about others.

Downey beats Warren in cross-town rivalry wrestling match

DOWNEY –The Downey High School wrestling team traveled to cross-town rival Warren last Thursday night and came away with a hard fought, 37-24 win. 

Downey’s big four of Jonathan Prata (113), Dylan Ajtun (120), Roland Dominguez (126) and Adrian Guerra (285) all secured wins by decision, pin, decision and pin respectively, in leading the Vikings to their first league victory. 

The boys’ varsity victory over Warren gives Downey the inside track to another S.G.V.L. title. 
League foe Paramount was in attendance last Thursday night at Warren and looks to challenge Downey for league bragging rights. Paramount must still wrestle both Downey and Warren, certainly a challenging and difficult task.

In other wrestling action on Thursday night, the Warren boys’ junior varsity team defeated Downey 35-28 and the Warren girls’ wrestling team defeated Downey’s girls’ wrestling team 64-12.

Coach Soto, his staff and wrestlers are once again league favorites and look to defend their S.G.V.L. title as well as make another run at a C.I.F. Dual Meet championship.

DOWNEY BOYS BASKETBALL: The Downey High School boys’ basketball team currently has an overall record of 7-11 and a S.G.V.L. record of 1-1. The Vikings defeated Paramount at Downey 60-40 last Wednesday night and were defeated by league favorite Dominguez at Dominguez 71-54 last Friday night. 

Downey traveled to Lynwood on Wednesday (score unavailable at press time), will travel to cross-town rival Warren later today for the first of their two city showdowns and will travel to Gahr to play the Gladiators next Wednesday. At the conclusion of the Gahr game, the first round of league play will be over and the second round will begin on Friday. 

Coach Shelton, his staff and players are all looking forward to league play and competing for a line on a postseason bracket.

WARREN BOYS SOCCER: The Warren High School boys’ soccer team defeated Paramount at Warren last Thursday night 1-0. Bear senior Edwin Cano scored the only goal of the game in the second half to secure the win. With the win, Warren improved to 5-5-3 overall and 2-0 in S.G.V.L. play. With the loss, the Pirates fell to 10-3-2 overall and 0-1-1 in league play. Paramount is the four-time defending league champion and is certainly in the mix to win again this year along with cross-town rival Downey.

The Bears finished last season with an overall record 10-9-5 and were 5-3-2 in league play. Warren was the third entry from the San Gabriel Valley League behind Paramount and Downey, respectively. Warren was defeated by Edison at Edison 3-1 in the first round of the C.I.F. Division One playoffs. Coach Pena, his staff and players are all looking forward to competing for a league title and making a run in the playoffs.

WARREN GIRLS SOCCER: The Warren High School girls’ soccer team defeated Paramount at Warren last Thursday night 5-0. With the win, the Lady Bears improved to 12-2 overall and 2-0 in S.G.V.L. play. With the loss, the Lady Pirates fell to 7-5-2 overall and 0-2 in league play.

Warren will once again be the team to beat in S.G.V.L. play while cross-town rival Downey looks to challenge the Lady Bears for city bragging rights.

Warren finished last season with an overall record of 13-9-3 and were 8-1-1 in S.G.V.L. play. The Lady Bears were the 2017 San Gabriel Valley League champions and were defeated by Moorpark at Moorpark 1-0 in the second round of the C.I.F. Division Two playoffs. Coach Dussan, her staff and players are all looking forward to league play and making another run in the playoffs.

WARREN BOYS BASKETBALL:  The Warren High School boys’ basketball team currently has an overall record of 11-6 and are 2-0 in S.G.V.L play. The Bears defeated Lynwood at Warren 70-63 last Wednesday night and defeated Paramount at Warren 63-37 last Friday night.
Warren traveled to Gahr to face the Gladiators on Wednesday (score unavailable at press time), will host cross-town rival Downey later tonight and will travel to league favorite Dominguez to face the Dons next Wednesday. 
Coach Leflore, his staff and players are all looking forward to league play and challenging Dominguez for the league title. Downey, Gahr, Lynwood and Paramount are all looking to knock the Dons off as well.

WARREN GIRLS BASKETBALL: The Warren High School girls’ basketball team currently has an overall record of 10-8 and are 1-1 in S.G.V.L. play. The Lady Bears were defeated by Lynwood at Warren 45-33 last Wednesday night and defeated Paramount at Warren 56-35 last Friday night.

Warren traveled to Gahr to face the Lady Gladiators on Wednesday (score unavailable at press time), will host cross-town rival Downey later tonight and will travel to Dominguez to face the Lady Dons next Wednesday. At the conclusion of the Dominguez game, the first round of league play will be over and the second round will begin on Friday. 

Coach Palmer, her staff and players are all looking forward to league play and challenging Downey and Lynwood for the league title.

DOWNEY GIRLS SOCCER: The Downey High School girls’ soccer team defeated Dominguez at Downey 8-0 last Thursday night. With the win, the Lady Vikings improved to 7-4-3 overall and 2-0 in San Gabriel Valley League play. With the loss, the Lady Dons fell to 1-4-1 overall and are 0-1 in league play. Cross-town rival Warren will once again be the team to beat in league play as they are the defending league champion and bring several players back from last season.
Downey finished last season with an overall record of 10-11-2 and were 7-3 in league play. The Lady Vikings were defeated by El Modena at El Modena 2-1 in extra time in the first round of the C.I.F. Division Three playoffs. Downey is excited about league play and looks to challenge Warren for the S.G.V.L. title and city bragging rights that come with it.

DOWNEY GIRLS BASKETBALL:  The Downey High School girls’ basketball team currently has an overall record of 15-3 and are 2-0 in S.G.V.L. play. The Lady Vikings defeated Paramount at Downey 56-18 last Wednesday night and defeated Dominguez at Dominguez 73-33 last Friday night. The Lady Vikings hosted Lynwood at Downey on Wednesday (score unavailable at press time), will travel to cross-town rival Warren later today and will travel to Gahr to play the Lady Gladiators next Wednesday.

The Vikings are off to an excellent start and look to win the S.G.V.L. championship outright. Lynwood will once again be the team to beat in league play while cross-town rival Warren looks to challenge as well. 

Elwood C. Renshaw

April 26, 1922 - January 12, 2018

Elwood Renshaw Obit.jpg

Elwood C. Renshaw of Downey, California, died January 12, 2018 at the age of 95 years. Elwood was born April 26, 1922 in Huntington Park, California. He met his future wife Annie when he was 15 and she was 14. They both attended Huntington Park High School in the same class and they graduated in the summer of 1941. Elwood enlisted in the Army/Air Force shortly after and served honorably. After being discharged, their relationship resumed on a more serious level and they were eventually married September 8, 1946 in Huntington Park at St. Matthias Catholic Church. In 1950, they moved to Downey where they lived until the present. Annie went to heaven on April 26, 2008. And now Elwood has joined the love of his life almost 10 years later, having missed her intently every day during this last ten years. Elwood and Annie continue to set the standard in the family and community for genuine marital love and commitment.

Elwood worked for 35 years for Pacific Telephone and Telegraph retiring in March of 1981. After retirement he enjoyed golfing, playing bingo, visiting Pechanga, traveling occasionally, hanging with his buddies at the donut shop, spending regular time with family, and generally enjoying the many blessings he had in life.

He is survived by his three sons, Mike of Washougal, WA and his wife Chris, Patrick of Downey, CA, and Dan of Cle Elum, WA and his wife Debbie; his two sisters, Ellen and Mickey, his grandchildren Christi, Brandon, David, and Adam; great grandchildren Christopher, Bella, Mia, Rocco, Daniel, Jordan, Asher, and Olivia; as well as many, many beloved nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held for Elwood on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 3:00 pm at Calvary Chapel Downey, 12808 Woodruff Ave., Downey, CA 90242 located at the corner of Imperial Hwy. and Woodruff. Call 562-803-5631 for directions.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Calvary Chapel Downey, 12808 Woodruff Ave., Downey, CA 90242, in memory of Elwood Renshaw.

Letter to the Editor: Downey fails on setbacks for new housing

Dear Editor:

I enthusiastically endorse the idea of amending the Downey zoning code to look (again) at lot-splitting and mansionization.

It's apparent to me that the current code utterly fails to maintain the scope and character of neighborhoods, and you can see that failure any time you drive down a street of approximately 2,500 sq. ft. homes, only to find a 6,000 sq. ft. McMansion sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of it. (I can't help but wonder what those McMansions do to the property value of the homes next door.)

In addition to overall size, zoning requirements routinely fail on setbacks. It's bad enough that two-story homes are being built that are literally more than twice the size of the surrounding homes, they also loom over the sidewalk and their closeness to the pavement makes it impossible to plant trees, install landscaping, and in general ignore the two-story entrances that I personally find to be their most unattractive feature. 

Lack of setbacks, by the way, seems to be a common failing. I see that problem everywhere, including the townhome development on Paramount Boulevard, and with commercial buildings on multi-lane boulevards. Lack of setbacks means meager sidewalks, and no trees, creating a landscape that can only be charitably described as "bleak." 

So if there's a way I can encourage a study to be conducted revisiting these issues, please count me in!

Joan Niertit

Letter to the Editor: Impressed with Grocery Outlet

Dear Editor:

I have lived in Downey for 30 years. I try to shop within our city and use mom and pop stores whenever possible.

I recently tried Grocery Outlet and was impressed. Not with the prices (which were great) but with the staff.

The young lady at the register greeted me when I walked in, people stocking were courteous as well. I made my purchases and left. I could not believe the customer service. So I challenged it.

I have now been there on four separate occasions: early in morning,  afternoon, evening and right before closing. I have never had the same cashier twice. The customer service has been the same -- kind and courteous customer service. Front the front of the store to the back.

Thank you, Downey, for an excellent store like this. 

Denise Juarez

Crime Report: Jan. 15, 2018

Saturday, January 6: 
At about 6:00p.m., officers located a stolen vehicle on Firestone Blvd. near Ryerson Ave. Both driver and passenger were arrested after admitting to the theft.

Sunday, January 7:
At about 12:35 a.m., officers responded to 8206 Firestone Blvd. (DB Lounge) regarding an assault. When two female victims returned to their booth, two other females were sitting down in the booth. When the victims asked the females to get up, one of the females struck both victims on the head with a bottle. The females fled prior to police arriving. The victims sustained contusions and were treated by the Downey Fire Department at the location. Detectives are investigating.

Letter to the Editor: Alzheimer's is a public health threat

Dear Editor:

It is time we change our thinking on Alzheimer’s disease.

Too often Alzheimer’s is treated as an aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of the disease. In fact, there are 630,000 Californians who are struggling with Alzheimer’s, and those numbers are sure to go up.

Both my grandmother and my father battled this horrific disease and I am well aware of the devastating emotional and financial effect it can have on a family.

Congress has a chance to take decisive action passing the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256). This act would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions.

Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the U.S. costing the country more than $259 billion a year. If we are going to end Alzheimer’s disease we must start treating it like the public health threat it is.

I am hoping Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard will continue her practice of advocating for issues of importance to seniors and will support this bill.

Bruce McDaniel

Letter to the Editor: Lakewood Boulevard in embarrassing shape

Dear Editor:

Downey is a great city with a lot to be proud of. The city has plenty to offer to its residents and visitors, such as the oldest McDonald’s in the U.S. off Florence Avenue and Lakewood Boulevard. 

But the roads to get to the landmark and other locations along Lakewood Boulevard are full of bumps and potholes. 

Because of poor road conditions, residents and visitors are disappointed by the lack of attention Lakewood Boulevard receives. 

“While driving under the 5 overpass, I felt so many bumps that I pulled over to check if I had a flat – luckily I did not,” said Memo Olarte, a visitor from Chino Hills. 

“It’s unsettling going under that overpass,” said Norma Olarte, of Downey. “I feel like my car is breaking down sometimes.” 

As indicated by the 2012 article “Budget Deficit Forces Tough Decisions” published by The Downey Patriot, there have been some improvements to the roads, Florence Avenue and Studebaker Road to be exact. Since the roadway improvements, those streets have been a non-bumpy ride while within the Downey city limits. 

Therefore, it is time that Lakewood Boulevard receive the same treatment so that the roads can be a more comfortable drive and to make Downey better than before.

William Burgess


Paging Dr. Frischer: Advances in diabetes

More than one in every 10 adults in the United States has diabetes. I repeat: more than one in every 10 adults has diabetes. That comes to 29 million Americans, including some eight million who may be undiagnosed and unaware. 

It can be a devastating disease; monitoring, managing, and treating it is difficult, challenging, and costly. Thankfully, this is an exciting time with new advances in the field.


How does a healthy, diabetes-free body operate, and why is a properly functioning pancreas so important? Hormone levels (including insulin, glucagon, and others) rise and fall to keep our blood sugar (glucose) in a normal range. Normally, blood sugar levels rise after we eat. Cells in the pancreas then release insulin, enabling the body to absorb glucose from the blood and lowering blood sugar levels back to normal. 

Then, when blood glucose levels are low, the hormone glucagon is released from the pancreas and signals the liver to release glucose back into the blood.

For those with type-2 diabetes, the body builds up resistance to insulin and increasingly greater amounts are necessary in order to bring down blood glucose levels. As the disease advances, the pancreas produces even less insulin. 

With type-1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, and needs additional insulin injections to bring down the blood sugar levels. Type-2 diabetics often use non-insulin oral or injectable medications or, if that is not effective, insulin injections.

In 2016, the FDA approved the first artificial pancreas. This artificial pancreas is initially being used for Type 1 diabetics, with the more common Type 2 diabetics to follow. The device continuously monitors blood sugar levels and supplies insulin automatically when sugar levels get too high. 

There is constant communication between the monitoring and the infusion devices. The goal is to reduce high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) and minimize the incidence of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) with little or no input from the patient, and to allow a diabetic patient the opportunity to live a “normal” life!

Another recent potential advance in diabetes treatment is a digital contact lens. Patented in 2014 by Google, and in partnership with the pharmaceutical company Novartis, it measures blood glucose levels from tears. Microchip sensors are embedded between two layers of lens material, and a tiny hole allows tear fluid to seep into the sensor, which then measures blood sugar levels. 

A thin wireless antenna transmits the data to a phone app. When blood glucose levels approach dangerous levels, the app notifies the user to act by consuming sugar, injecting insulin, or contacting a physician. 

As with the artificial pancreas, it could eliminate the need to take blood samples (usually through a finger poke) several times a day, and could potentially greatly lower the cost of monitoring blood sugar levels.

We live in exciting times. Stay tuned for these and other advances in diabetes management. 

Dr. Alan Frischer is the former chief of staff and former chief of medicine at Downey Regional Medical Center. Write to him in care of this newspaper at 8301 E. Florence Ave., Suite 100, Downey, CA 90240.