Update from the mayor

Dear Editor:I cannot express how much I appreciated the e-mails and cards and, most importantly, the prayers from so many of you during this recuperation period for my eye surgery. It has been a tough ordeal but because of my family and friends we seem to be out of the worst at this time. To update you, as of last Friday the doctor said I did not have to lay face down anymore...Yea! What a relief as this has been the hardest part, especially for somebody with as much energy as me ( Ok, you can think it, hyper is the word that comes to mind, ha.) It seems the operation so far has been as successful as can be, so far. We will know next week whether I can see once the gas goes away inside the eyeball (don't say it...Ha!) Basically there were five tears in my retina and they had to take out the vitreous (jelly-like stuff inside the eyeball) and they had to laser and then freeze it against the eye to repair and fix it. If it doesn't hold they have to do it all over again... But the good news is that I can see light and shapes, even through the gas, and the doctors are happy how it looks inside. I have been allowed to get out for an hour or so each day and will be building up my endurance to get back to a full schedule, hopefully by next week. But I have been able to go on the computer for an hour or so each day and have been able to respond to most of my city hall duties during this time. [My wife] Ann has had to drive me around and I am sure she can't wait to let me go, but she has been my angel and I could not have been through this without her love and support. Anyway, I just wanted to update you and thank you so much for everything. I have had many of you get me books on tapes and they have helped me get through the "mental" part of being housebound. I appreciate all of your kind thoughts also. I was also able to read some items and keep a short schedule on things brought home to me from the city and I was in touch almost everyday with city staff. I will be back in time to do the State of the City address on Friday, March 20th at the Rio Hondo Event Center at noon. The Chamber has asked me to do this and I am looking forward to seeing many of you there. I have asked the Chamber to make sure that open seating is also provided for citizens that do not want to buy or cannot afford the lunch to be able to hear what is going on in our fine city. We are a very special place with many good and great things happening despite what is happening throughout our country. And I can't wait to share some with you all. We have some new announcements to be able to make that are exciting. I also want to update you on some other good news just announced (Wednesday). It was announced by our Congresswoman Lucile Roybal-Allard that we were awarded $700,000 for the Columbia Memorial Space Center. This money is to create interactive educational exhibits to enhance the understanding of space-related sciences and to highlight the value of technologies developed through the space program, while inspiring and educating the next generation of scientists and engineers. I have been blessed to go back to Washington twice along with our staff in pursuing this and I am happy to be able to let you in on it. You will be hearing more about it in the near future. Our learning center should be opening by mid year...pretty exciting for us and our region. I just want to end by saying thank you again for your prayers and thoughts and I hope to be fully back in the next few weeks. And with God's blessing, hopefully being able to see from both eyes again. All my best…God Bless and thank you for everything. - Dn. Mario Guerra, Mayor, City of Downey ********** - Published: March 13, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 47