Letter to the Editor: Fed up

Dear Editor:

This next week will determine the moral heart of our beaut country. The election on Tuesday will be a referendum or a clear denunciation of the moral leadership of this President and Congress.

I am a registered Republican that has always voted for who I believe is best to lead our country regardless of party affiliation. I have been frankly shocked and disturbed by the actions of the President and his supporters in Congress.

I believe in less regulation but not at the expense of our planet and children’s future. I believe in fiscal conservatism but we are now reaching a trillion dollar deficit. Tax cuts should have been for the middle class first. Corporations did not need a 21% rate. They would have been fine with a 25% rate. Then we could have kept our State and local tax deductions along with our Employee Business Expense deductions. We are in for a rude awakening when we file our taxes next year.

Mitch McConnell announced last week that cuts must be made to entitlements to make up for the lost hundreds of billions of corporate tax revenues. That means Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other safety nets will be cut.

This is a morally bankrupt President that has filled his administration with indicted and convicted individuals, pays off mistresses, turns a blind eye to the murdering of a journalist for greed (you can tell the Saudi’s to remove the prince), complains about how a MAGA bomber affects his campaign, supports white nationalists and declared himself a Nationalist (wink-wink) and is in a constant state of acting like a spoiled 10- year-old boy that has no sense of empathy.

This man needs to have cold water thrown in his face to wake home up to the reality that the majority of Americans are exhausted with his personal attacks and praising of despots and our enemies. The time has come to make a moral choice. We can force a correction upon him and hope that he will try to listen to all sides and find reasonable compromise. We have the power.

I plead with you all to take a step back and look at our current state of our Union and search for your better angels. God bless America!

John Alexander

Letter to the Editor: Traffic light

Dear Editor:

We need a traffic light and Florence and Orizaba.

We have had too many accidents occur here. We also have too many cars exiting here since Century 21 A Better Service opened up. Our streets are filled with overflow from their parking lot.

We can never park our cars in front of our home. The chiropractor at the other corner does not have enough parking either. We can not exit due to heavy traffic on Florence. Even the keep clear signs are ignored and accidents occur almost every other week.

I have lived here since 1976 and the area has changed drastically.

Gina Avalos

Letter to the Editor: Veterans' housing development

Dear Editor:

While I respect and enjoy reading the Patriot, the article on plans for American Legion property on Garfield Avenue was misleading.

For one, we don't call this facility a shelter and I wish Downey City Council Council would stop leaping on this because of one sign out of hundreds. I am sure you must play nice with your own council, including Mayor Pro Tem Rick Rodriguez, but it would have been reassuring to see the other side of the equation where folks from South Gate and Downey could have been heard also.

The facts are that nothing is written yet on what will be placed at the Legion property. Now Downey and LA County have evicted our American Legion (as of Nov. 17, 2018), a staple of our neighborhood for 70 years and whom LA County and Downey have never bothered to help with the taxes, fix their roof or help with any horticulture on the land.

Now we come to the proverbial "it is for veterans” — come-on. Not true. This is where all these non-profits (taxpayer money) come out of the walls calling everything "for vets". In 2016, a popular homeless housing non-profit came to South Gate saying they were building permanent homeless housing for veterans. After many meetings the answers to our questions were, “we are hoping for 38 veterans and the rest will be homeless and chronic homeless,” and because these units are permanent homeless housing, the resident can do anything in it that we can do in our homes.

One question was can they do drinking and drugs and the answer was yes, this is their home. Another question was must the residents attend the self help programs and the answer was a resounding no. "We cannot force people to attend career or other counseling."

When questioned if dishonorably discharged vets were allowed, it was said at one meeting that yes, since a lot of them had PTSD. Does that mean if they were in for a month and decided they didn't like it they had PTSD? Will there be a curfew?

This property in the city of Downey is right next to thousands of South Gate families and two schools but almost a 1/2 mile away from Downey council members’ constituents. Will Rick Rodriguez, co-founder of the non profit Living Tree Foundation and on the Board of Courage Forward, have a piece of this pie? Fame? Fortune? Both?

We don't want homeless facilities every two blocks and I don't think the voters of Measure H and other voter-approved funds knew how badly our tax dollars were going to be mismanaged.

Virginia Johnson
South Gate

Letter to the Editor: A vote for Garcia

Dear Editor:

Again today they appear in my mailbox: fear mongering political fliers in dark red and black, with words like #hypocrite and #sinverguenza in thick bold type and “Fired” stamped across a woman’s face.

This is what passes for political discourse these days, mailed by some shadowy group “not authorized by a candidate” but definitely opposing Cristina Garcia.

Who is sending these dark scary ads? The return address is from San Rafael, a long way from our 58th Assembly District that Garcia represents. The group paying for these ads is a shadowy group called “Working Californians Against Corruption,” based in San Francisco. This group believes that slinging mud and promoting fear, rather than discussing positions and accomplishments, is the way to our vote.

Garcia already gracefully endured one politically motivated hit-job by her opponents this year. She has a long list of accomplishments in public service, including important legislation to clean up the lead contamination from the nearby Exide battery plant, efforts to combat cyber-bullying, and support for gender equality in school services.

Her campaign ads reflect her dedication to service. They are respectful, up-beat, intelligent and informative. Sadly, little has been heard this year directly from the opposing candidate.

Because of Garcia’s hard work for the people of her district and all of California, and because she has refused to engage in another dive into the mud that characterizes so much of our politics today, she will have my vote this Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Frank Kearns

Letter to the Editor: Assembly race

Dear Editor:

I am a moderate voter that has voted for both Democrats and Republicans in the past.

The state assembly seat for District 58 is up for election. Republican Mike Simpfenderfer is challenging incumbent Democrat Cristina Garcia for the seat.

I have been very disheartened by the accusations of terrible behavior and improper conduct against Garcia, and was definitely looking to vote for an alternative to her. Before I could cast a vote for him, I wanted some straight talk from Simpfenderfer. He frequently says that we deserve better than Garcia (I agree) and he goes on to speak of the need for a respectful and proper work environment that has been apparently lacking on the part of Garcia.

So, I asked him via his Facebook page why is it okay to verbally support Donald Trump and the absolutely appalling, uncivilized and disrespectful way he conducts himself, but Cristina Garcia has to go for her poor behavior. He read my question, but never gave me answer.

Well, I agree with him that we deserve better, but the fact is we deserve better than Garcia and Simpfenderfer, This man professes to be a change, yet refuses to even answer a simple question from a constituent he claims to wish to represent. He is just another partisan hypocrite.

As a voter with a conscience, I can not vote for either of these candidates. I hope the next time this seat is up for a vote, we have a decent candidate..or heaven forbid, two decent candidates that have a moral compass and are willing to engage and address concerns by voters.

Matt Millard

Lingering woes persist for Californians long after drought ended

By Andrew Lara

Many Californians became uneasy in 2016 after Governor Jerry Brown imposed a 25 percent water conservation mandate on every household in the Golden State because it was quickly followed by unwelcome water and sewer rate increases.

We were told that, even though we were using a quarter less water in our homes, water suppliers and sewage providers would face insolvency if they couldn’t charge us more for less water because their cost structures were already locked in and couldn’t be cut.

Soon, rates shot up around California by double digits. In some areas, they jumped 30 percent or more than prior to the water conservation mandate. Howls of pain were felt in communities with many renters, those populated with the working poor, and those with high numbers of retirees, fixed-income, disadvantaged and minority residents.

In these communities, the loss of a few tens and twenties every month to pay water and sewer bills meant making some hard choices about where to cut back expenses elsewhere, for shelter, food, medicines and their other necessities.

Then, the drought ended as suddenly as it had begun. Conservation mandates were eventually lifted, but — surprise — our utility bills stayed high. Even though the utilities were again handling more water, they didn’t cut charges back to where they had been before the rate hikes.

In fact, some Californians face even more rate hikes because the water and sewer agencies sought and received permission to increase rates in stages over several years. For many Californians, the drought’s pain will persist long after the rains returned in 2017, and some say they will never go down again.

This is fundamentally unfair. California is blessed with lots of water but is cursed by where it is available. About 75 percent of the rain and snow the state receives in any given year falls in the sparsely populated northern end of California or other states, while two-thirds of its people live in the south.

People who live in the Los Angeles basin or San Diego may drink water that fell to earth as snows on California’s Cascades or Sierras, on the Tehachapis, or as melt water from mountains as far away as Wyoming and Colorado that flowed down the Colorado River.

Massive water capture and aqueduct transport facilities move water from where it originates to where it is needed. Most were designed before 1970. Some are falling apart, as we saw when Oroville Dam’s primary spillway failed catastrophically in 2017.

Everyone needs to know that our state lags far behind the curve in delivering enough water to serve all its population. Many migrated here since 1978, the year the last major dam was built.

That’s why voters regularly see water bonds on their ballots, including Proposition 1 in 2014, Proposition 68 this June and now Proposition 3 in our November general election. Many others water bond measures have passed or failed since 2000, but the work they fund is far from done.

Rather than continue to hike water rates and raise sewer bills to pay for water, sewage and storm-water runoff infrastructure projects, California needs bond measures to spread the costs of its water projects across everyone who benefits from them and allow huge sums to be paid for over time.

The alternative to these bond measures is water so expensive that no one can afford to drink it, let alone bathe in it, wash our clothes or water our yards.

Water may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about how important it is to vote in November, but it should definitely not be your last thought, either.

Andrew Lara is a Director for the Pico Water District.

Letter to the Editor: Support for Cristina Garcia

Dear Editor:

Sadly, smear tactics have become the new norm in local politics, a sinister form of character assassination aimed at disparaging our community leaders.

A recent ad, wrought with a litany of lies about Cristina Garcia, our 58th district assembly representative, aims to derail her successive run for the 58th Assembly District. This disparaging ad, seemingly retaliatory in nature, presumes voters will blindly jump on the bandwagon to derail her chance of securing another term.

However, when voters take the time to examine Ms. Garcia’s consistent record of advocacy on behalf of her constituents on issues of environmental justice, government transparency, women’s equity, health and education, youth empowerment and leadership and countless other family issues, then we must rise above the fray and bombardment of negative slanderous propaganda.
Mean-spirited propaganda presumes the voting audience can be easily manipulated with falsehoods and unsubstantiated claims. However, it is evident, at least to voters we’ve consulted, that this smear campaign is about silencing us and relegating our community’s needs back to the margins. As conscientious voters, we won't be bullied by outside interests with deep pockets, who have an ax to grind.

When voters consider Cristina’s commendable merits, then we voters rise above the fray to help Cristina continue the good fight. She is tough, highly effective and has credible support. Undeniably, she is passionate about the issues that matter and that most impact our communities. Your vote for Cristina Garcia is a step toward bold, responsive representation in the 58th Assembly District.

We stand with Cristina.

Hubert H. Humphrey Democratic Club

Letter to the Editor: Campaign cash

Dear Editor:

On November 6, registered voters in the fourth district, which takes in the northeast part of Downey, will have the chance to elect a new council person to replace Fernando Vasquez, who is termed out after eight years in office.

Downey Realtor and attorney Carie Uva, and emergency preparedness manager Claudia Frometa, are vying for the office.

Both candidates have filed FPPC Form 460 with the Downey City Clerk reporting campaign contributions each received for the period of July 1 through Sept. 30.

This letter addresses the donations to Ms. Frometa’s campaign, which are primarily from business interests.

They include Best Buy Tire Center ($2,000), 4 Tires on Line ($2,000), Meghrig Stradley ($2,000), Champion Dodge ($2,000), CalMet Services ($2,000), Paramount Resource Recycling ($1,000), Marcar Real Estate ($1,000), RMI International ($650), Joseph’s Bar and Grill ($500) and Hernandez Carpet Buyers ($500).

RMI International is the security business owned by current Downey Mayor Pro Tem Rick Rodriguez, who has endorsed Frometa.

Outgoing Councilman Fernando Vasquez donated $2,000 left over from his 2014 campaign coffer. He has also endorsed Frometa.

Other individual contributions of note include $500 from businessman Tony Abboud; and $500 from former City Councilman Mario Guerra.

It takes money to successfully run for political office. Analyzing where that money comes from and the amount donated, can help to inform the voter, as it indicates the political interests of the candidate.

Candidate Frometa appears to have the interests of business and her fellow politicians in mind.

Remember the often quoted line from “All the President’s Men,” and “follow the money” before casting your vote in the fourth district council race.

(In full disclosure, the writer donated $500 to Frometa’s campaign.)

Brian Heyman

Letter to the Editor: Speeding on Studebaker

Dear Editor:

I would like to have some kind of an island installed on Studebaker Road between Cecilia Street and all the way to Florence Avenue.

Lately there has been a lot of speeding and during the night weekends there's been young guys doing donuts in the middle of the street.

I am just asking for safety in our streets and community. I hope the city takes action.

Claudia Villasenor

Letter to the Editor: Mental health

Dear Editor:

Thank you Alex Dominguez for such an enlightening article on anxiety and depression. It was touching as well as educational.

He shared such specific and personal symptoms that he has dealt with which, in my opinion, was courageous and selfless.

In addition to the hotlines he mentioned for those in crisis, I want to recommend NAMI, National Alliance for Mental Illness. They have chapters in most communities and offer classes for family and friends that want to understand mental illness and better support a loved one.

Thank you again for using your talent as a journalist to promote awareness on this very important issue.

Lupita Dawson

OP-ED: Proposition 3 would improve reliability of Downey's water supply

By Matteo Crow

Voters in Downey should pay close attention to Proposition 3, a statewide water bond on the November ballot.

California is completely dependent on a clean, safe, and reliable water supply. We live in a state prone to drought, wildfire, and floods and our water supply must be managed properly to meet these challenges. Our state’s economy and population continue to grow, as do the water needs of urban and rural communities, agricultural, and fish and wildlife.

Proposition 3 also makes key investments in the mountain watersheds that are the source of our water. Fire is transforming our watersheds, degrading water quality and reducing available water supply. Proposition 3 devotes more than two billion dollars to restoring those landscape, and improving water quality and quantity. Funds will be used to reduce fire danger, and to repair fire-damaged watersheds.

Proposition 3 will repair failing surface and underground water storage and conveyance facilities. It develops new water through such proven methods as recycling of wastewater for irrigation and industry, desalting, capture of stormwater and water conservation. Funding for fish and wildlife habitat protection and restoration is included as well. Hundreds of thousands of people in California don’t have a safe drinking water supply. Proposition 3 includes $750 million to help solve these problems. Proposition 3 will provide enough water to meet the water needs of more than three million families in California.

Other programs in Proposition 3 include urban stream restoration; river parkways; and improvement of water quality in local rivers, streams and coastal waters. Proponents argue that Proposition 3 will prepare us for the next inevitable drought by improving the reliability of our local water supplies and giving local water providers the flexibility to deal with changing water supply conditions.

Proposition 3 provides $175 million for the restoration of the LA River, improving recreational opportunities and the water quality flowing in our communities

California’s economy is booming and the state can easily afford Proposition 3. Our state’s credit rating has vastly improved since the recession, the state has a large budget surplus, and only a few bond acts have been presented to the voters in recent years, leaving room for the Proposition 3 water bond. Proposition 3 does not raise taxes.

Proposition 3 does have opposition. The Sierra Club and Friends of the River oppose Proposition 3 because they believe Proposition 3 is too high a financial cost for the state’s general fund and will result in environmental damage. They are also opposed to direct appropriations for Central Valley water infrastructure, feeling that the state should play a greater role in the allocation of funding regionally and are opposed to subsidizing agriculture.

On the other side, environmental groups supporting Proposition 3 include the National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy, Audubon California, Planning and Conservation League, Ducks Unlimited, Save the Bay, California Trout, and California Waterfowl Association. These groups work on the ground to improve the quality of life in our local community. Senator Dianne Feinstein and GOP candidate for Governor John Cox support Proposition 3.

Proposition 3 is endorsed by Downey’s water district, the Central Basin Municipal Water District, California Greenworks, Friends of the Los Angeles River, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Mujeres de la Tierra, CLEAN South Bay, Climate Resolve, Water Replenishment District of Southern California, Tree People, Strategic Action for a Just Economy, MOVE LA, West Basin Municipal Water District, Biz Fed LA County, and The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Proposition 3 is a chance to improve the reliability of Downey’s water supply, and enjoy higher quality water in our rivers, streams and ocean, but does have opposition. Learn more at www.waterbond.org.

Letter to the Editor: Millennials' voting power

Dear Editor:

As we celebrated National Voter Registration Day yesterday (Sept. 25) I wanted to take a moment to recognize this as an opportunity for everyone, and specifically my fellow Millennials.

Though we may see this as another silly thing to celebrate, like National One Hit Wonder Day, or National Donut Day (actually one of my favorite holidays to celebrate), this reminder shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Millennials, especially Latinx Millennials, are slowly becoming a huge force to be reckoned with, and I believe representatives will be lobbying and campaigning for our votes in the next decade. However, I don’t think we should wait; I think people should be asking for our votes now. Millennials will become the next big voting block in no time, but why wait.

People (our older generations) give Millennials a bad rap and say we don’t go out and vote, I say we change that. Let’s shape the world we want for the future today. If you haven’t registered to vote for the next election, please do. October 22 is the deadline to register to vote for the November 2018 election. My fellow Millennials, I urge you to register, and if you have, that’s great, encourage your peers to register as well.

Lastly, registration is only half the battle; the other half is going out and voting! So please vote and lets make our voices heard this coming election.

A proud Latinx Millennial,

Art Montoya

Letter to the Editor: Voter suppression

Dear Editor:

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.

Arnold Richards


Letter to the Editor: Mary Stauffer

Dear Editor:

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.

Jorge Montero

Letter to the Editor: John McCain

Dear Editor:

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.
Jorge Montero