Coordinating Council epitomizes Downey's spirit of volunteerism

DOWNEY — There is a saying that knowledge is power and that is what the Coordinating Council has in the city of Downey, receiving information about what the organizations, businesses and other clubs do and are planning to do in the city.

For the most part, the 34 club representatives are the ones who are informed first and extend that information to their members hoping that the information will reach the streets.

“Knowing what is going in the city you are living in, it is very important for all the residents of Downey,” said Lois Buchanan, Coordinating Council Banquet Chair. “I love to be around people and love the community. Being a volunteer gives meaning to your life and it makes you feel good. Helping others and helping organizations to fulfill their purpose is the way it should be.”


Buchanan is one of those members who has been a volunteer her whole life. Everything started in 1964 with the PTA school club one year after she moved into the city with her kids and husband. She is already 81, but doesn’t complain or show any signs of wanting to retire. Actually, she is a member of at least three clubs and helps in all of them.

If it wasn’t for the voluntarism, Buchanan said, this community would not be what it is today. “Downey is a lovely community because of the volunteer work that many people have done. The longer you are in Downey, the more you will appreciate it.”

When I asked her about the lack of participation of the newer generations as volunteers in Downey, she is too polite and doesn’t have any criticism for the people that do not get involved in any organization. She knows that raising a family is very important and emphasizes that currently there is some participation and every club is responsible for their membership.

Bobbie Bruce, the current Coordinating Council President, agrees with Buchanan that at least for now, there are enough volunteers for the current clubs, but soon, they may need some help. The Coordinating Council reached its highest point with 110 cubs when it was born in the 70’s, but today it barely reaches 40 clubs or less. They meet once a month and in order to encourage participation, the Club recognizes the Downey residents that contribute their time to the city as a volunteer.

For Salvador Cervantes, a Toastmaster member and resident of Downey for over 30 years, his concern as a member of the Coordinating Council is to make sure that the new generation of Downey is going to be ready when the current leadership has to pass the baton to them.

“I want to see more young people getting involve. We have some, but we need more,” said Cervantes, who is also a member of several clubs in the area. “I see the need for new blood to develop the skills in leadership and in communication which are very important to continue the leadership of the clubs.

Cervantes considers that if nothing is done now, there is always the risk that more clubs will continue struggling with membership and some will disappear and this cannot happen in Downey. He underlines that voluntarism and the level of participation of Downey’s residents in organizations is what makes the city unique.

Downey has been characterized by being one of the most philanthropic cities in the southwest of Los Angeles County, supporting its residents and non-residents in areas that may be life changing for many, such as receiving a scholarship to go to college, clothing to go to prom, food for the homeless, support for the elderly and for after-school programs, among others.

There are also many organizations like the Aerospace Legacy Foundation, Assistance League, Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Society, the Rose Float Association, the Symphonic Society, Foodhelp, Friends of Downey Library, and Women Club among others that for decades represent what the city is about; the backbone of Downey, added Cervantes.

However, all this support has been possible thanks to the helping hands of volunteers in non-profit organizations that are committed to maintain and improve the standard of living of the residents of the city and its surroundings areas.

That is why, even Rick Rodriguez, the mayor of the city, is working on plans to support the Coordinating Council in order to avoid any duplication of efforts in one particular area. Unfortunately, this reporter wasn’t able to get a clear vision so far about the mayor’s plan regarding the Coordinating Council.

Three Days of Mystery

For almost three days, my husband and I have been going crazy. There has been a mystery at our house that’s completely taken over our lives.

The other morning at 6 a.m., my husband Dale was in the driveway putting his things in the car to go to work. He came back in to get one last cup of coffee for the road, and I asked him if there was a firetruck in front of our house. He said no, left for work and I thought no more about it.

Well off and on (mostly on) all day I kept hearing this really loud siren. It was a wind-up siren followed by three loud beeps. Every time I heard it I ran outside to see where it was coming from. I saw cars going up the street and people leaving for work, but no apparent sign of a firetruck.

After several hours of it, I thought it must be someone’s alarm either on their car or in their house. All day I just kept thinking how stupid it would be to have that kind of alarm. I ran from my front yard to my back a million times because I couldn’t tell if it was coming from out front or from the block behind me. In the house it echoed and bounced off walls so I couldn’t tell the direction it came from.

When Dale came home, it continued throughout the entire night. It woke us with a start several times. The next day we walked the neighborhood looking at everyone strangely and looking at all the cars to see if perhaps it was a motion detector being set off every time a car went by. We asked our neighbors and they said no, they hadn’t heard it. Now we were on day three and going crazy.

We ran like fools trying to chase down this sound. Now mind you, this wasn’t a soft noise. It sounded like a firetruck in your driveway kind of noise. After two days and two nights of it, we had gone mad.

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On the third morning I told Dale that I didn’t know, didn’t care, was not going to use up one more brain cell trying to figure out the mystery. I tried very hard to ignore it, but some things you just can’t. I was about to call the police and ask for their help. This had gone on at intervals of from every 5 to 15 minutes the entire time.

Over and over we had the same conversations, “Which way is it coming from? Did you hear it from upstairs? Could you hear it from the street? Did you see anyone leaving? Do you think it’s on the block behind us?” In the street it sounded like you had your hand on the truck, it was that loud. By this time we thought that the both of us must be crazy because no one else heard it.

We sat in our recliners totally stumped and half mad that we were living in this nightmare and couldn’t get out of it.

All of the sudden, Dale jumped up and ran across the room. He opened the cupboard under the wet bar and pulled out a toy fire truck. This truck hasn’t been looked at or played with in about three years. Dale pushed each of the 4 sound buttons and none of them had the right sound effect. We were immediately stumped and disappointed that we had not found the culprit.

Dale made sure the switch was flipped to off and just set it on top of the wet bar. As we sat in disbelief at our inability to track the noise, we sat shaking or heads. A few minutes of silence were followed by “SIREN…beep beep beep” a random noise, not one of the four programmed noise effects on the toy. He took out the batteries.

We were driven to the brink of madness. Besides being easily amused, apparently, we are just as easily confused.

Gail Earl is a member of the writing class at Norwalk Senior Center.

Vikings stay undefeated despite step up in competition

DOWNEY – The Downey High School boys’ swim team currently has an overall record of 4-0.

The Vikings defeated Cal, 130-40, on February 19th, defeated Ocean View, 116-37, on February 21st, defeated Lakewood, 133-35, on February 26th and defeated Santa Fe, 123-46, on February 28th. The Vikings have picked up right where they left off last season.

The Vikings have been led by returning seniors Nathan Lopez, Christian Gonzalez, Jesus Murguia, and Jose Salazar. New senior additions of Adrian Buenrostro and Jason Camacho are contributing as are juniors David Tonne, Adrian Caballero and Nathan Amador. Sophomores Tomas Marquez and Armando Flores are stepping up as is freshmen Jose Jaime.

Coach Delhousay, his staff and swimmers are all looking forward to a competitive season with non-league meets against the La Serna Lancers on March 7th (results unavailable at press time) and the Cerritos Dons next Wednesday.

San Gabriel Valley League play will begin next Tuesday against Gahr. Downey is looking to win the S.G.V.L. title for the 8th straight time and according to Coach Delhousay, “this senior group looks to go out on top.”

The Vikings have been moved up to Division III this season at CIF after two successful years in Division IV, where the Vikings finished in fourth place and second place the last two seasons, respectively. Coach Delhousay concluded by saying, “the level of competition will improve greatly, hopefully helping our guys to swim even faster this season.”

The Downey High School boys’ volleyball team currently has an overall record of 6-3 and will begin San Gabriel Valley League play when they travel to Paramount to play the Pirates on Thursday, March 21st.

The Vikings were defeated by La Serna at La Serna 3-0 on February 20th in their season opener and competed in the Redondo Union Tournament February 22nd and 23rd where they finished with a record of 4-2. Downey defeated Lakewood 2-0 on February 22nd, defeated Torrance 2-0 on February 22nd and were defeated by San Marcos 2-0, also on February 22nd.

The Vikings were defeated by Newbury Park 2-0 on February 23rd, defeated Calabasas 2-0 on February 23rd and defeated Thousand Oaks 2-0, also on February 23rd. Downey defeated Claremont at Downey 3-0 on February 28th.

The Vikings traveled to La Palma Kennedy on Wednesday for their match against the Fighting Irish (score unavailable at press time). The Vikings are also scheduled to play Norwalk at Downey on March 13th and will travel to El Dorado on March 19th for their final preseason game.

Downey finished last season with an overall record of 26-5-1 and were 10-0 in S.G.V.L. play. The Vikings are the defending C.I.F. Division 3 champion after they defeated Tustin in the championship final 25-23, 22-25, 25-17 and 25-23. Coach McCarthy, his staff and players are all looking forward to the 2019 volleyball season.

WARREN BOYS VOLLEYBALL: The Warren High School boys’ volleyball team currently has an overall record of 2-5 and will begin San Gabriel Valley League play when they host the Lynwood Knights at Warren on Thursday, March 21st.

The Bears defeated Bellflower at Warren 3-0 in their league opener on February 19th and competed in the Redondo Union Tournament where they finished with a record of 1-4. The Bears defeated Carson 2-1 on February 22nd, were defeated by Thousand Oaks 2-1 on February 22nd and were defeated by Los Alamitos 2-0, also on February 22nd.

Warren was defeated by South Torrance 2-1 on February 23rd and was defeated by Lakewood 2-0, also on February 23rd. The Bears were defeated by St. John Bosco at St. John Bosco 3-1 on Tuesday night. Warren traveled to Santa Fe to play the Chiefs yesterday and will host the Norwalk Lancers next Tuesday in their final preseason game.

Warren finished last season with an overall record of 17-6 and were 8-2 in league play. The Bears finished in second place in league play behind cross-town rival Downey, respectively. Warren was defeated by Arroyo Grande 3-1 in the second round of the C.I.F. Division 2 playoffs. Coach Lane, his staff and players are all looking forward to the 2019 volleyball season.

The Warren High School baseball team currently has an overall record of 9-1 and will begin San Gabriel Valley League play when they host Paramount at Warren next Monday. The Bears are currently competing in the Poly Classic where they have a record of 3-0.

Warren defeated Bell 4-0 on February 27th, defeated South Gate 11-0 on March 1st, defeated Roosevelt 6-0 on March 5th and played Poly of Sun Valley on Wednesday (score unavailable at press time). The Bears will play a doubleheader at Hoover tomorrow. The first game is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. and the second game is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.

Coach Pearson, his staff and players are all looking forward to the 2019 baseball season and competing for a S.G.V.L. championship and playoff birth. Gahr and cross-town rival Downey will once again be the teams to beat in league play.

The Warren High School softball team currently has an overall record of 4-3 and will begin San Gabriel Valley League play when they travel to Lynwood on March 26th. The Bears were defeated by Mayfair at Warren 7-5 on February 28th and were defeated by La Serna at La Serna 7-1 on March 5th.

Warren is scheduled to play La Palma Kennedy at La Palma Kenney on March 19th and will also compete in the La Mirada Tournament on March 23rd and 30th. Coach Starksen, her staff and players are all looking forward to the 2019 softball season and qualifying for postseason play. Gahr and cross-town rival Downey will once again be the teams to beat in league play.