Cerritos College reveals plans for hall of fame

NORWALK - Cerritos College has announced plans for a hall of fame to honor past alumni who have helped to bring "recognition, honor, distinction and excellence" to the school.The hall will include separate categories for athletes, alumnus, corporate, and teachers and faculty. Nominations will be accepted until Nov. 30. Nomination forms are available online at cerritos.edu/hof. The inaugural induction ceremony is scheduled for April 12, 2012.

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Aging dams threatened by climate change

Record heavy rains in the Pacific Northwest last winter unleashed floods and landslides and overtopped some of the region's giant concrete dams. Heavy winter snows in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains and in the central Rockies left Western officials fearing warm spring weather, rapid snowmelt, and more floods.Such worries are increasing across the West as climate change creates greater fluctuations in watershed flows that infrastructure was not built to withstand. Add the fact that dams and levees are aging and ill-maintained because federal and state budget cupboards are bare, and wherever you look, there's the possibility for a perfect storm of flooding and costly infrastructure failure. Take for example, Northern California's privately owned Sacramento Delta levee system. It gets little oversight. A 2004 levee failure, cause unknown, flooded 12,000 acres of farmland for six months. Future levee collapses, prompted by flood, drought, earthquake, or age and poor upkeep, could allow saltwater intrusion into the Delta, the drinking water source for two-thirds of Californians. Ultimately, taxpayers bear the costs of rebuilding after such "natural disasters." Solutions won't be easy or cheap. During the twentieth century, water managers planned for future needs based on past precipitation patterns. But with climate change, weather patterns are more unpredictable, and we haven't yet determined how to adapt. In several western states, for example, water managers have traditionally relied on the melting mountain snowpack throughout spring and summer to supply water during dry months. Those snowpacks once provided nearly three-quarters of the West's water. No more. Earlier, warmer springs are melting snowpacks more quickly, leaving less for late summer. Rapid snowmelt is also putting increased pressure on aging infrastructure, including dams not designed to withstand it and overflowing reservoirs too small to accommodate it.There are 87,000 dams in the U.S., according to the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO). The vast majority are privately owned, and many no longer serve their planned function. About 10 percent have no known owner. ASDSO found that 10,127 dams nationwide pose a serious threat to human life if they fail, and of those, 1,333 were structurally deficient or unsafe. Even worse, many cities have developed their floodplains, putting new businesses and homes in the path of future floods and dam or levee breaks. Increased flooding is predicted in 10 out of 12 U.S. cities evaluated in a recent climate change study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). We can also expect saltwater floods. Sea level rise could flood parts of San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, and Norfolk, Va. says NRDC. Saltwater intrusion into drinking water supplies threatens Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and New York. Floods and sea level rise also jeopardize critical, low-lying infrastructure: airports, bridges, highways, pipelines, railroads, refineries, ports, water treatment plants, and nuclear plants, as seen during this summer's Missouri River flood at Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. Western cities need to adapt now. All new infrastructure plans should pass muster not only under past climate conditions but also those modeled for the next fifty years. These plans should meet a resiliency bar. For example, why plunk down $1.5 billion turning San Francisco Bay's Treasure Island into a "green" development when it's barely three feet above sea level? Instead, we need to spend limited funds shoring up critical infrastructure that we can't do without or can't move and embrace new types of infrastructure designed for "soft failure" by bending rather than breaking. I'm talking about innovations like low-impact development - porous pavements and rain gardens that absorb rainwater into the earth, decreasing flooding. We also need regulations that discourage construction in floodplains and along vulnerable coasts by pushing developers to shoulder the financial risk of disaster. Building codes must be updated too, reducing flood risk. Dams that have outlived their function should be removed. The evidence of changing water patterns is all around us. We have a choice: adapt now, and prepare for the floods to come, or pay a high price in property damage and human suffering later. Freelance reporter Erica Gies has been published by The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Wired News, Grist, and E/The Environmental Magazine. To comment on this column go to www.blueridgepress.com ©BRP 2011

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Children's author to sign books

ANAHEIM - Long Beach author Suzanne Sumner Ferry will sign copies of her book, "Corinna the Christmas Elf," at Kelly's Coffee & Fudge Factory in Anaheim on Dec. 3.Ferry will be at the store, located at 1801 E. Katella Ave., from 1-3 p.m. In the book, Corinna the Christmas Elf has special toy-making abilities. Santa, who admires her work very much, has just promoted Corinna to Senior Elf Factory Manager in his workshop. But one very cold Friday, when a dangerous storm threatens the workshop, Santa's elves fear they won't be able to meet their December deadline.

********** Published: November 17, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 31

Michael Berdelis

Remoun Said of ReNew Real Estate was awarded the Downey Association of Realtors' Tomorrow's Leader Today Award, labeling him "the one to watch." Meanwhile, DAOR president Nubia Aguirre presented Michael Berdelis, of Prudential 24 Hour Real Estate, with the President's Award, thanking him for "being a great leader in 2011." ********** Published: November 17, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 31

Remembering a very special son Brian Christian Ellis

It has been 2-years since you left us here on earth. Your smile, the joy you gave us, your generous gentle spirit will be forever missed. But we remain grateful and humbled that we were chosen as your family and your friends. As an organ donor, you gave the gift of life to 6 strangers, and because of that gift, 6 other families will be celebrating the holidays together with joy in their hearts. This year you will be honored with a floralgraph portrait on the 2012 Donate Life Rose Parade float. What a gift to have received. You are most deserving of this honor. As we did last year, we will launch 31 white balloons (for your years on earth) and 2 pink balloons (for your years in heaven) on the anniversary of your death Sunday, November 20. Make sure to look for them, as we send to you with all our love.
“I listen for your spirit in the air that sustains all life; I bask in your warmth from the sun above and I absorb your beauty upon the earth that I walk”…Until we meet again, Mother.

Published: November 17, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 31

Go figure

heard from my daughter in Medford, Ore. Of the 30 poorest cities in the United States, Medford is ranked fifth.Then she tells me that Medford is getting a Trader Joe's. Go figure. Downey must be chopped liver. -- Beverly Smith, Downey

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Singer to perform at church service

DOWNEY - Larisa Stow, lead singer and songwriter for the band Larisa Stow and Shakti Tribe, will play a concert this Sunday during the 10:30 a.m. worship service at Downey Memorial Christian Church.Stow has five publicly-released albums, including her latest, "Rock On Sat Nam," which garnered positive reviews. Her album "Reaching In" charted as high as No. 6 on the New Age charts and has had major radio airplay. It can be heard regularly on satellite radio. Shakti Tribe tours consistently and performs at festivals and fundraisers around the world. They recently won the World Music Award at the Malibu Music Awards this past October.

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Downey Association of Realtors

The Downey Association of Realtors honored a few of its longtime members recently, including (left to right) Penny Watson (30 years), Ray Sedighi (20), Bev Baumann (35), Steve Roberson (25), Jan Molinaro (35), John Lacey (45), Maria Pierce (25), Isabel Roldos (30), Don Jervis Jr. (35 and Nubia Aguirre (30). ********** Published: November 17, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 31

Theatre students hosting variety show

NORWALK - The Cerritos College Theatre Department will present "Late Night Burnight" in December, a comedic showcase modeled after variety shows, improv performances and late-night interview programs.Performances are Dec. 2-3 at 8 p.m., Dec. 8-10 at 8 p.m., and Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $12 general admission and $10 for students, and seniors. Tickets at the door are $15 and $12. Tickets can be purchased online at cerritos.edu/theatre or in the theater office (room BC-G) on campus Monday through Friday, 12-5 p.m. (cash only). For more information, call (562) 467-5058 or go to cerritos.edu/theatre.

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Man faces child porn charges after losing cell phone

DOWNEY - Giovanny Campos, a 21-year-old resident of Los Angeles, is facing child porn charges after he lost his cell phone in Downey, authorities said Wednesday.A good Samaritan found Campos' phone at a local gas station on Oct. 28, and while looking through it to identify the owner, discovered what he believed to be child pornography. The citizen took the phone to the Downey Police Department where the Hi-Tech Crime Unit launched an investigation. Police officials confirmed the phone contained images and video of "child exploitation." Campos was arrested Nov. 3 and charged with possessing and manufacturing child pornography. He remains in custody pending a court date. Anyone with additional information on the case is asked to call Detective Tim Lau at (562) 904-4017 or Sgt. Brian Baker at (562) 904-2304.

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Resident to help oversee college bonds

NORWALK - Downey resident Lisa Ann Rapp has been appointed to the Cerritos College Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the college's use of bond funds and for serving as a "check-and-balance" to ensure that bond proceeds are only used for projects included in the bond measure project list.Rapp was appointed by the Cerritos College Board of Trustees on Aug. 11. The school announced the news last week. Rapp said she was "looking forward" to serving on the committee. "I am a student at Cerritos College, in the Music Department, and so is my husband," she said in a statement. "Both of my sons recently attended Cerritos College before transferring to a four-year university. I think Cerritos College is a great place for people of all ages to pursue their educational interests, and I would like to help in updating the physical environment on campus." Rapp has worked as director of public works for the city of Lakewood for 15 years, where she has been employed since 1990. Her responsibilities include engineering and public works administration; maintenance of parks, city buildings, fleet, street and traffic operations; animal control, solid waste and storm water management; and capital project construction. She is very active professionally, as past president of the Public Works Department of the League of California Cities, and serving on the LOCC Board of Directors from 2008-10. She is also a past president of the Southern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association. She was awarded the James L. Martin Award for her career service in public works, as was named 2010 Public Sector Top Leader by APWA SoCal Chapter. Rapp holds a B.S. in civil engineering from USC. "We're very pleased to have Lisa join the committee," said Tom Jackson, president of the Cerritos College Board of Trustees. "Her public works background which includes construction and contract management and environmental protection and sustainability is incredibly valuable in ensuring that Cerritos College's bond funds are invested as the voters intended and that projects are completed wisely and efficiently."

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Baby born at 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 11

DOWNEY - Excited parents Patricia and Juan Avina welcomed their baby girl, Denise, who was naturally born at Downey Regional Medical Center at 11:11 a.m. last Friday, Nov. 11, or 11-11-11."DRMC is proud to be a part of this special birth and want to congratulate Patricia and Juan Avina on their beautiful healthy newborn baby, Denise!," the hospital said in a statement.

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Long Beach Christmas concert is free

LONG BEACH - Bethany Lutheran Church in Long Beach will host its 42nd annual Christmas concert Dec. 11 at 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.This year's concert will feature sacred Christmas anthems, ranging from "Gloria Fanfare" to "There Shall a Star Come Out of Jacob" performed by the 75-voice adult choir and accompanied by an orchestra of 15 musicians and organist Robert Bottoms. The 40-voice school children's choir will perform at 1:30 and 7 p.m., while the school's honor choir performs at 4 p.m. The concert is free and nursery care is available. A freewill offering will be taken.

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Jan Molinaro and Jason Cierpiszewski

Jan Molinaro of CB Realty has been named Realtor Broker of the Year by the Downey Association of Realtors. Jason Cierpiszewski, of Century 21 My Real Estate, was honored with the Realtor Associate of the Year Award. ********** Published: November 17, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 31

Data protection hugely important for small businesses

Small or large, domestic or international, modern businesses run (or fail) on data. If you're a small-business owner, data - from customer email addresses to your bank account numbers - is vital to your company's success. Protecting data is as important as generating sales.Many small-business owners already know this; in fact, in a recent survey by Carbonite Inc., a provider of online backup solutions, 81 percent of small-business owners said they consider data their company's most valuable asset. Yet the same survey found that more than half (57 percent) have no plan in place if something disastrous happens to their data. And nearly half (48 percent) of small businesses with two to 20 employees have already experienced data loss, according to a separate Carbonite survey. A third of those never recover their lost data. "The Federal Emergency Management Agency has said that 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never re-open after a data disaster," says Peter Lamson, a small business expert for Carbonite. "Small businesses that plan ahead and take key steps such as protecting their valuable business data will be in a much better position to get their businesses back up and running when disaster strikes." So how can you protect your company from some of the most common causes of data loss? "The single most important thing small businesses can do to protect their data is to back it up every day," Lamson says. "We know from our research, however, that while some small businesses perform daily backups, many don't. And of those that do, many are using antiquated methods or are only partially backing up primarily due to the time or costs associated with business backup." Most small businesses that back up their data rely on physical devices, like external hard drives, USB/flash memory sticks or CDs/DVDs. Physical devices require business owners to keep track of them, manage the backup process, and assign an employee to this task. Furthermore, backup copies are often stored on-site and exposed to the same risks as the original data. Many small businesses are turning to online backup services to safeguard their data and streamline the backup process. Services such as Carbonite Business provide online backup that meets the ease-of-use and budget needs of small businesses. Not only does online backup add a layer of security by storing valuable data off-site, it also allows for automatic and real time backup. If a business' computers are connected to the Internet, then its data is backed up automatically. Here are some common causes of data loss and how you can help protect your company from them, in addition to backing up: Cause: Hardware/software failure (54 percent) Protection: Do regular maintenance tasks for hardware and software. Most operating systems now come with built-in disk clean up and diagnostic functions. Run them regularly to help keep your software in good shape. Keep an eye on hardware too, with simple steps such as checking power cords periodically to ensure they're OK. Cause: Accidental deletion (54 percent) Protection: Accidents happen and sometimes data that you mean to preserve gets lost or deleted. This is when having an instantly accessible backup is vital. Ready access is another advantage of online backup. Rather than having to go track down an external hard drive or call your IT person, online backup allows you to access your preserved data in real time, so that you can be back up and running quickly. Cause: Computer viruses (33 percent) Protection: Software to protect your PCs and system from viruses and malware is essential. Keep your virus protection software up to date to help ensure you maximize your ability to block viruses. Make sure employees know never to attempt turning the software off, and direct them to avoid opening email attachments unless they are confident of the source of the email. Cause: Theft (10 percent) Protection: Thieves don't only target big companies. In fact, small businesses can be particularly appealing targets for data thieves since they often have fewer safeguards in place than do larger companies. In addition to a firewall and secure Internet connection, your prevention measures should include steps to keep thieves from stealing hardware such as flash drives, external drives, data tapes and even the PCs themselves.

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Arc changes name, unveils logo

DOWNEY - The Arc Los Angeles & Orange Counties is proud to unveil an adjustment to our name and a new logo.Arc of Southeast Los Angeles County has expanded to provide support and hope for many people in the Greater Los Angeles and Orange County region. We are now officially The Arc. Our new logo reflects our energy and commitment for the rights of people with disabilities. The Arc's national organization and 800 chapters throughout the country are adopting the new logo. Arc is not an acronym and should be spelled out - it is just a word. We simply provide advocacy and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The history of our names spans the decades of growth of an organization that for 56 years has served people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community. In the 1950s-60s, our name was Association for Retarded Children; in the 1970s-80s our name changed to the Association for Retarded Citizens. Our name changed once again in 1993 to Arc of Southeast Los Angeles County. This was an important change because participants in The Arc voted to eliminated the "R" word from the name and just call the organization Arc. The "R" word was eliminated forever because of the degrading nature of its use and even the federal government passed a law changing all documents to be people with "intellectual disabilities." The new brand and identity will take us forward as a movement and command the kind of respect and recognition on a regional basis that the people we serve deserve. The respect and recognition, in turn, will allow us to continue to achieve our goals for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For more information, contact The Arc at (562) 803-4606, ext. 223, or go to TheArcLAOC.org. -Contributed by The Arc

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Don't let holiday calories add up

DOWNEY - As we enter the holiday season, many of us stress out about gaining weight with all the holiday parties and family gatherings.No need to worry - it's still possible to have that piece of pumpkin pie and still lose weight and stay healthy. Here are a few tips to help you during the holiday season: •Make a goal to do something active for 30 minutes per day, six days per week (walking, jogging, weights, exercise DVD, etc.). •Give yourself a cheat day to enjoy your favorite holiday foods (but remember everything is in moderation). •Don't keep those tempting foods laying around. Carl Causly is a certified trainer and teaches a body sculpt class at the Barbara J. Riley Community & Senior Center, and a fitness boot camp at Downey Adult School. E-mail him at trainwithcarl@aol.com.

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Church concert Saturday

DOWNEY - Organist Chris Martin will perform at a concert Saturday at First Presbyterian Church of Downey.Martin will be playing music of Bach, Mozart, Bruhns and more. The concert is free and starts at 7 p.m.

********** Published: November 17, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 31