I never thought a large business like Nike would praise someone who disrespects our American flag. Nike did this hoping to to make a profit only, which is immoral.
I will never buy anything from Nike again.
I never thought a large business like Nike would praise someone who disrespects our American flag. Nike did this hoping to to make a profit only, which is immoral.
I will never buy anything from Nike again.
Every year – even 17 years later – there is something about this day that I absolutely dread.
The date of Sept. 11 still weighs extremely heavy. I don’t know whether it’s the atmosphere, the memories, or just the general widespread, universal feeling of grief, but the day always feels like a slog through thick air.
It’s a popular question to ask “Where were you when the Twin Towers were attacked?” Curious all these years later, I put out a feeler on one of Downey’s community Facebook groups.
Jose Padilla had just wrapped up a 7 a.m. math class at Cerritos College and was heading to the computer lab when another student told him to look at what was happening in New York. What he found left him sad, broken, and in disbelief.
Lupe Murillo saw the news on TV before going to work. She worked in a high rise by LACMA. Upon arriving she was turned away by the office manager, due to fear that their building might be targeted.
Coco Rubio says she had woken up early before school and was in an online chat room when people started talking about the attacks.
Those engaged in the chat got upset, thinking that an unfunny joke was being played on them. It wasn’t until she logged off and got to school that she realized the legitimacy of what had been posted.
Elizabeth Aguirre saw it on TV that morning. Her oldest son was 8 at the time, and was traumatized enough that he refused to board a plane for years after.
Ken Cook went from being a reservist to active duty almost overnight.
My publisher, Jennifer DeKay, worked in an office that looked out over LAX at the time. All planes were mandatorily grounded after the attacks, and LAX took in a lot of that air traffic. She says it looked like a shopping mall on Black Friday.
A very good friend of mine, Brittany Murphy, was a young child at home getting ready for school. Her aunt had been visiting from Texas and was supposed to catch a flight out at 11 a.m.
Instead, she ended up staying an extra three weeks. Murphy’s daughter, Emma, is not far from the same age that Murphy was during the attack.
I was an 8-year-old kid when I woke up to my mother’s and grandfather’s eyes glued to the tv screen. I remember being annoyed that I couldn’t watch my usual morning cartoons.
I didn’t realize the severity of what we were witnessing until I got to school, where the somber feeling of each teacher and faculty member radiated and trickled down to the student population. When we were lined up that morning, we were addressed by our Principal Gary Hardy. I don’t remember what was said, but a moment of silence followed.
September 11 attached everyone who witnessed and was affected by the attacks with a bond and a burden that we will all carry for the rest of our individual lives.
With that bond and burden comes a responsibility that a generation before us also carried.
For many if not most of those reading this, Pearl Harbor was just something we read about in our school textbooks. We could read about the build-up, the attack itself, and the war that followed, but could lose the vital human element of history unless we had someone available to us that could relate the pain, anger, and resulting sense of duty that welled up inside what would become “The Greatest Generation.”
Folks, it’s our turn; September 11 was our Pearl Harbor.
For those of us that were older, it was a strike on our own turf, something that seemed unimaginable and unprecedented. For those of us who were younger, it was our first real experience with war.
There is an entire generation now who were not there to witness what happened in New York.
Teach them. Speak with them. Explain why and how this has created the world that they were born into.
Let us never forget the day of September 11, 2001, and let us not let it become just another entry in a history textbook.
By Raul Riesgo
The uber-liberal faction of State Legislature has come across another item of great importance to Californians – vegans in the prison system aren’t getting their greens.
Yes, California Democrats have introduced a bill (Senate Bill 1138) to require prisons to offer inmates “plant-based meals” that are free of meat, dairy, fish, poultry or eggs.
The bill’s author, Senator Nancy Skinner of Berkeley, states that her intent to require a vegan menu is because it “will provide an example of healthful eating to the general public.”
Last I checked, prison inmates are not who we the public turn to when we’re looking for living advice.
I understand keeping a Kosher or halal diet, and there are already specialized foods available for inmates with certain health or medical needs. But veganism is not a religion or a medical issue. What’s next; inmates require a specific world cuisine? Prisoners already end up eating better than the almost 20 percent of Californians who struggle just to meet their basic needs.
Adding a vegan menu to the prisons’ meal plan is costly, too. The California State Legislative analysis says the cost will be hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
There are far more urgent problems facing California than hiring vegan chefs for the digestive comfort of a few hardened criminals. Spending taxpayer money is all about priorities, and catering to finicky eaters in prison shouldn’t be high on that list.
The Democrats in charge in Sacramento are spending too much time and money on ridiculous issues that impact a very few people and not enough time solving the truly urgent challenges facing this state, like affordability, the housing crisis, fixing the 911 system, stockpiling water for the next drought, wildfires, and so much more.
California deserves better.
Raul Riesgo is a public relations expert who has been featured on Spanish language news outlets Telemundo and Mundo Fox News discussing both political and Latino community issues. He has also been a news reporter for two Los Angeles area newspapers writing on variety of community and social topics.
I was intrigued by Ms. Malkin's article, “The Left’s Long War on Conservative Free Speech.”
Indeed, it does seem as if progressives attempt, and often succeed, in silencing conservative voices. Witness the numerous times that student protests have led to the cancellation of conservative speaking engagements at colleges and universities.
But then Ms. Malkin ends her article with the following statement: "The ballot box is one of the mightiest platforms we have. Use it or lose it." This statement seems disingenuous at best, in that since 2010 it has been Republicans, and not Democrats, who have engaged in voter suppression through gerrymandering and voter ID requirements designed to reduce the voting power of liberals.
Congratulations on your coverage of the celebration of Dr. Mary Stauffer 101th birthday (The Downey Patriot, Aug. 30, 2018). She has set the bar very high for anyone who wants to emulate her.
I regret that conflicting medical appointments precluded me from attending Mary's celebration at the Rotary Club and at the Assistance League.
Given Mary's DNA, I am sure that Methuselah's record is in jeopardy and I look forward to celebrate with her her birthday in 2019.
The U.S. is a widow today. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never have so many owed so much to one person, John McCain.
McCain represented the best about our democracy. He believed in dialog and in working with the other side of the aisle. He worked to build bridges with the opposition and his integrity and honesty is unmatched in today's political circus.He had character and faith in American goodness.
Today we see politicians who through deferments, political connections or who knows what, avoided military service and now pretend to be military experts or know about military life when the only military experience they have is to have watched a Memorial Day parade.
McCain lived a military man's life. He is a bona fide hero who put his principles ahead of his personal convenience as a prisoner of war.
McCain proved his independence when he voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act in spite of being heavily lobbied by the current administration.
He lived his life fully with honor and for that the country is better off today. More politicians should emulate his conduct and personal behavior.
My name is Matthew Mejia and I am a freshman at the University of San Francisco. I attended St. John Bosco High School and I am a Downey native.
I’ve recently started working on a magazine called abuntu where we talk about community and why is it important. You can find us on instagram @abuntumag but I'm writing this because I believe that Downey needs more activity places, rather than eating places.
I think Downey could really benefit from having a community art center where kids, teenagers and adults could come to create. We have food places, we have martial arts places, but the spaces for arts seem to be lacking.
I’m not sure who to contact about making this vision into a reality but hopefully this letter helps. I know we have the Stay Gallery but having an art studio open to a public with access to materials is something we need, especially for the children.
This coming July 20 will be 49 years since the alleged moon landing.
There have been four satellites from four different countries that circled the moon many times but never took any pictures of the landers or the moon rovers. Why not?
They all had telephoto lens that could zoom in at around 100 feet or so. This fact alone creates doubt. Not one news station has ever mentioned this fact and they never will.
In Apollo Park is a Magnolia tree planted 67 years ago by the Old River School Mothers Club to commemorate the soldiers who gave their lives in the Korean War.
I’m not an arborist, but the tree (Magnolia grandiflora) is beginning to struggle for lack of adequate water. There are quite a few dead branches at the top of the canopy.
When they refurbished Apollo Park a few years ago, they added several rows of picnic tables in the vicinity of the tree and paved the entire area with crushed granite. The granite is practical, and looks nice in the picnic area, but they covered the entire area around the tree with seemingly no allowances for properly watering it.
The Magnolia tree is native to the wetter temperate forests of the southeastern United States. They withstand heat well but require regular watering in order to thrive in our dry climate.
I read the article in the June 29 issue of the Downey Patriot talking about Downey history. My parents moved to Downey in 1946. I have resided in my home since 1967.
The article, written by Bobbie Bruce of the Downey Historical Society, mentioned that in 1948 there were two parochial schools in Downey. I was in the ninth grade in 1948 and lived in Downey and attended St. Matthias school in the ninth and tenth grades.
After consulting with a lady named Sade West (nee Kindness) and after asking her about the article, she thought as I do about no parochial schools in Downey that year. At the time, Downey and Bellflower were part of L.A. County. The cities were not incorporated at that time as I remember.
St. Raymond’s Church and school were not built until 1956. I think Pius X High School did not start until the 50’s sometime. St. John Bosco High was a boarding school; my parents could not afford to send me there.
I have not spoken with Larry Latimer or anyone about the article. I wonder if Bobby Bruce can enlighten me.
Before buying our first home, my wife and I lived in a cozy 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment on Muller Street in Downey. It’s a nice neighborhood just north of Stonewood Center. Great neighbors, great landlord.
The 6-unit complex was built in 1956 in classic ranch-style architecture indicative of the times (complete with mahogany cabinets and a flamingo pink bathroom).
Another sign that the building was built in the 1950’s: the complex was built with a carport that allocates exactly one parking space per unit.
Maybe that was suitable in the ‘50s, but today, most everyone drives a vehicle. My wife and I each had cars for commuting, so one of us was required to park on the street.
This wasn’t a big deal until a couple years ago, when the city council granted a preferred parking district to residents of Shellyfield Road. What that meant is when the street got crowded – which was basically every day after 5 p.m. – we now had to park the next street over, on Clancey Avenue; a minor inconvenience for us, but more so for residents of Clancey, who now had apartment residents parking in front of their homes.
You can’t blame Downey’s city planners of 60 years ago; they had no way of forecasting the decline of single-income households and the rise in use of personal automobiles. One vehicle per apartment unit was appropriate back then.
We have no such excuse today. Times have changed and households today have multiple vehicles, yet Downey still relies on an antiquated formula that allows developers to build housing with insufficient parking, pushing cars onto side streets and clogging our downtown.
The townhomes on 3rd Street and La Reina utilize tandem parking (an elongated garage with cars parked in front of each other). How long before residents ditch the hassle of asking their spouse to move their car and simply park on the street?
A proposed apartment complex on 4th Street near La Reina will feature eight units with 12 parking spaces (eight spaces for residents and four for guests). It’s naïve to think that such parking is sufficient.
The city of Downey should put the needs of its residents ahead of those of developers. Update the Downtown Specific Plan and mandate that new residential developments include sufficient parking to meet the needs of residents, both incoming and existing.
We’re talking quality of life and simple common sense.
On a visit to Texas, I was taken to a college football game. I sat next to a young couple I’d never seen before and I was dressed in regular clothing.
About 30 minutes into the game, the young man tapped me on the arm and said, “Hey, I’m going to the snack bar. Do you want anything?” I was shocked. We just don’t do that much as people who live close to Los Angeles.
I said, “No, I’m fine.” He laughed and said, “I didn’t ask if you were fine. You want a beer or a Coke?”
I said, “You’re serious. OK, I’ll take Diet Coke.” I reached for my wallet and he said, “Put your money away”. With that he left.
His young wife smiled at me and said, “You’re not from around here, are ya?” I said “No, I live close to Los Angeles.”.She said, “That explains it. People are just friendly here. You’ll get used to it.”
Since then I’ve tried my best to just do things for people I’ve never seen before. It surprises people, but it is generally welcome.
What if we all did that and made other people smile. It doesn’t have to be something we buy for someone. It might be helping someone at the grocery store who can’t reach something. It might be just saying “Hello” to someone as you stand in line at the bank. It might be helping a mother who has three little children running around a store and she is trying to manage a newborn in a stroller.
I moved to Downey in 1965. It was a slower time then, and not such a diverse community. I remember when there was only one Mexican restaurant in Downey. I’m sure glad all that has changed, and not just the food, but the cultures and the experiences of people that are different.
I love listening to stories about other people’s birth places and how they got here. I love watching the cultural exchanges and the humor of people who have to learn what American terminology means. Sometimes I’m confused as I listen to young people and the words they use which mean something completely different than I suspect. But there is one language that everyone understands, and that’s the language of an act done in kindness or a friendly smile.
Let’s be more of a community and willing to communicate with one another. Let’s help, rather than hinder. Let’s stick up for people who don’t know what to do or how to get help.
This is what it means to be a great city full of great people. It’s a wealth of goodness that we can all share, and it doesn’t cost anything to do it.
Fr. John Higgins
I am so fed up with Los Amigos Golf Course's banquet hall. They rent out their facility for parties and they disturb the peace with their loud music on a consistent basis, with total disregard for the citizens that live in close proximity to their establishment.
Many of our Downey residents suffer in silence and many of them have no clue that the culprit is Los Amigos Golf Course. I have had many sleepless nights due to this criminal activity that is in clear violation of California Penal Code 415 PC: disturbance by loud and unreasonable noise that is done willfully and maliciously.
On May 26 at about 9:30 p.m., the music from this facility was shaking the windows of my home and the music could clearly be heard throughout the inside of my home, disturbing my peace. At approximately 10:30 p.m., I called the Downey Police Department to complain about the loud music.
At 11:30 p.m. the music was still at full throttle, so I drove over to the Los Amigos Golf Course and spoke to the security guard that was on site and I told him that the music is a disturbance to the residents that live in the area, at this point it was almost midnight and the security guard told me that the music would be ending in 8 minutes, and the only way they will lower it is if the police department tells them to lower it.
I drove home and at 12:20 a.m. the loud music was once again blaring.
I want their license taken away from them, or whatever they have that allows them to blast their music; their noise violations are completely unacceptable.
I made a total of three calls to Downey Police Department but they were busy with emergency calls, so as a resident of the City of Downey I need to take action to end the loud music. I am asking all Downey residents that have suffered in silence due to this injustice to join me in making Downey a desirable place to live by contacting the Downey City Council members and taking action to take away the right of this facility to torture us with their noise violations.
By Beatriz Gutierrez
When it comes to education there are a multitude of factors at play in delivering a quality educational experience to our children. As the new Executive Director of the Soleil Academy Charter School in Lynwood, I know community support of our students is paramount to their academic success.
Our kids are challenged with external forces more than ever before including family matters, peer and social issues, technology usage and personal development taking their focus away from their studies.
Therefore, it is important for students to have a support mechanism to steer them back onto the pathway to graduation and a fulfilling academic career.
Communities that value education help establish safer neighborhoods and are better informed and better-connected as citizens. High performing schools also add value to area properties making the community more desirable to live-in, attracting new businesses and community members.
In fact, a recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California indicates that California voters rank education as a top priority in this year’s governor’s race. This makes it clear that Californians have education as a top-of-mind issue.
To keep our promise of a better future to our kids, we must invest, in a personal manner, to help motivate their learning process – whether through volunteering at a local school, serving on a school committee or board, or donating in-kind services or supplies to a teacher or classroom – every little bit helps students in their efforts.
Our goal as teachers, administrators, family and community members should be to have every child graduate from high school - a 100 percent graduation rate. This is ambitious and not without its challenges. How we can support this goal is through daily actions that show kids what hard-work, diligence and determination can do to improve their lives.
As an educator with over 10-years of service in the classroom and as an administrator, I have chosen to engage students directly, so they can reach their full potential academically and in their personal goals.
As a former Lynwood Unified School District student myself, it always made me happy to see parents assisting the teaching staff and administrators in the classroom, volunteering at school functions and serving as mentors. As an administrator of a newly opened community public school, I encourage parents and members of the community to learn more about Soleil Academy and every other school in the area to see how you can become a driving force for positive change in a young person’s life.
As we rally together we can create bonds of support bringing knowledge to our students and making education a primary focus – creating a win-win for all.
Beatriz Gutierrez is an educator who attended the Lynwood Unified School District as a child and later was accepted to become a Corps Member with Teach for America and a Fellow with Building Excellent Schools. She currently serves as the executive director of the Soleil Academy Charter, a public school open to all students.
As we approach the June 5 primary election, here are some things for my neighbors in Downey and District 58 to consider:
If you support the recent gas tax /price increases, then you should vote for Frine Medrano.
If you support the recent car tab/registration fee increases, then you should vote for Frine Medrano.
If you support the early release of criminals back into our neighborhoods, then you should vote for Frine Medrano.
If you support more homeless camps and homeless people wandering our streets, then you should vote for Frine Medrano.
If you support more increases in our income taxes, then you should vote for Frine Medrano.
If you support the elimination of Proposition 13 (the only thing keeping our property tax rate somewhat reasonable), then you should vote for Frine Medrano.
If you support more government control of your life, then you should vote for Frine Medrano.
If you support our tax dollars, intended for road repairs, diverted to other projects (bullet train), then you should vote for Frine Medrano.
If you support the values of former Senator Tony Mendoza, then you should vote for Frine Medrano.
This is the second time that Ms. Medrano has run for a political position in the last couple of years. In a recent Downey Patriot article dated April 19, 2018, Ms. Medrano implies Councilman Rick Rodriguez only won the 2016 City Council election because Downey’s Third District is a “conservative” district. Whether the Third District is, or isn’t, a conservative district isn’t the reason that Mr. Rodriguez won the election.
Mayor Pro Tem Rodriguez won the election because he was a good candidate, he knows and cares about Downey and offered common sense, effective solutions to the concerns we face in this city. And thankfully Mr. Rodriguez was elected because he has turned out to be an outstanding councilman.
I live in the neighboring city district, District 2, but every time I call Mr. Rodriquez, he answers the phone and does his best to address any concern that I bring to him.
Yes, Ms. Medrano, as a resident of Downey, I would say that not only have you lost touch with District 3, I would say that you’ve lost touch with the entire city of Downey, having spent several years in Sacramento working for a representative from a different district.
I want to thank all the residents who participated in last weekend’s U.S. Postal Service food drive.
The Downey Council PTA HELPS Food pantry received all the donations from the Imperial Highway Post Office and it was the size of two school drives. It will help our clients who are Downey residents and who receive food all year long. Many clients are seniors and the others are families with children in our Downey Unified schools.
Know that you truly made a difference in their lives by this small token of generosity and giving. Thank you, postal workers, for picking up these items.
The traffic on Florence and Haledon is terrible between the hours of 7:30 am until about 8:30 am. People are so inconsiderate that they do not allow traffic to go onto Florence from Haledon. The gridlock is awful.
Maybe the city should consider a "Keep Clear" on this intersection since no one can get by on these hours of the morning. It apparently works on Florence and Arrington.
Also, the traffic on Lakewood and Gallatin is terrible in the later hours of the day. People continue to make a left turn into the driveway into the Ralph's market, which is illegal. The people going into McDonald's also cut across the double double lines making a left just because they don't want to wait.
We need a solution to this problem. Maybe a police officer issuing tickets, or just a cement divider like you have put everywhere else.
The landscaping on Lakewood Blvd between Florence and Mueller is out of control. The residents who own those homes do not realize that their bushes are hanging over to the sidewalk. Some residents have their fences falling down which is dangerous since people walk through that street. Maybe code enforcement should notify these residents so they can resolve the issues.
We attend the gym at the Downey Landing, LA Fitness, and behind Pier 1 Import there is a water valve that has been leaking for over a month. Someone needs to correct that problem, since there is still a water storage.
Two things that are very disturbing:
The news media’s sensationalism of cutting into my regular programming to show car chases is very irritating and should not be allowed.
And I will not vote for any politician who fills my voicemail with their ads. This is very rude.
As high-school seniors across the country prepare for life after high school, including advancing to the college or university of their choosing, many graduates are preparing for entry into the United States Armed Services.
In addition to their military training, they will receive specialized training in logistics management, health care, operational organization management, welding and building and over 150 various types of civilian careers.
Often overshadowed by their college-bound peers, military bound graduates are far too often looked at with less than cheerful support – in fact, it’s generally the opposite. Some have discussions to persuade them to rethink their plans while others receive less than equal fanfare given to those who have been accepted to a four-year university.
As Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the U.S. Army, I want parents and family members to know the military has an abundance of programs that lend to the academic development of a student starting with the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, also known as ROTC.
Students can join the program in high school and continue with the leadership training into college having their tuition covered while enrolled in ROTC. Upon their graduation they enter the service as officers and debt free. ROTC spends approximately $300 million in scholarships for students each year to over 1000 universities from Princeton and Harvard to Ohio State and UCLA. The United States Army is the largest single provider of college scholarships in the nation. Most people do not know this.
In addition to leadership and group training, U.S. branches of the military offer specialized training capable of launching a career in a high demand, highly skilled field in the private sector. Most of the military occupational specialties in the Army have related civilian counterparts which gives our soldiers training and experience that others do not have.
As an example, the U.S. Army offers linguistics, IT specialists, engineers, cyber security, legal and law enforcement, transportation, aviation and healthcare (doctors, dentist and nurses) in addition to music training. The discipline aspects of an enlisted member of the services also helps with maintaining focus on studies increasing their grade point averages (GPAs) above those of non-enlisted peers in similar courses.
Most people don’t know that student veterans are also more likely to graduate and have a higher GPA while earning their post-service degrees than their non-veteran counterparts.
Trade skills are also taught including HVAC technician training, truck drivers alongside construction and contractor skills in framing, welding, plumbing, electrical, and landscaping.
Joining the Armed Forces is a noble choice to begin with; something we all can agree that as a voluntary decision commands respect on its own merits to serve our nation. Add to that the ability to obtain skill sets that allow you, as an individual, to leave the service and engage in the job market with the specialized training provided by one of the world’s most elite leadership training organizations – the possibilities are endless.
While less than 3 out of 10 of our graduating high school students are eligible for the Army, the service and skilled training they will receive gives them the elite status that we appreciate so much in our soldiers.
To all the graduates, the future is yours -- make it a positive one for all of us. To all the parents of graduating students, congratulations this is a very special moment indeed. As a parent, I share your excitement. And to those students who have chosen the Armed Forces as their next step in life, thank you for your service and take advantage of all the service has to offer you.
To all may God bless you, care for you and guide you.
Mario A. Guerra is the former mayor of the City of Downey and current Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army. He can be reached at www.marioaguerra.com
Once again this is the time when we begin receiving the onslaught of political flyers and robocall phone messages seeking our support for candidates running for office. This week, I received many of those flyers, one of which was from Tony Mendoza for State Senate.
Many of us in the public are aware that Mr. Mendoza recently resigned his seat while under investigation for sexual harassment, prior to the conclusion of the investigation -- an interesting move for someone who vociferously proclaimed his innocence.
His resignation was soon followed by a leave of absence from our Assemblymember, Cristina Garcia, who is also facing similar charges. This left residents like me with no elected representation in Sacramento.
Mr. Mendoza’s flyer asks that I “re-elect” him. Well, he is not my senator; right now I have no senator, and I choose not to vote for him.
I have been a Democrat since I first voted in 1970 but I would rather vote for a Republican than see him return to office. I truly hope that voters in in 32nd Senate District will elect a candidate that won’t embarrass and abandon us.