Piano store owner is guest speaker

DOWNEY - Stephen Schroeder, owner of Schroeder's Pianos in Paramount and president of the non-profit Noble Purpose Inc., will be guest speaker when the Christian Business Men's Club meets Feb. 9 at the Sizzler in Downey.Schroeder and his wife, Xinwei, established and oversee the work Noble Purpose does in China, saving and developing the lives of disabled children. The meeting begins at noon. The club also announced that starting in February it would begin meeting the first Thursday of each month instead of weekly. The March guest is former radio program host Roscoe Turner.

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Homeownership options for low-income families discussed

LOS ANGELES - Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles will host a homeownership resource fair this Saturday, Feb. 4, at Cal State Dominguez Hills.Information will be provided on a variety of options for low-income families interested in affordable homeownership and home repair services. The fair will be offered in two sessions: from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1-4 p.m. It is open to the public. There is no charge to attend but advance registration is required by calling (424) 246-3651 or online at habitatla.org/homeownershipfair. The fair will offer workshops on the following topics: How to Purchase a Zero-Interest HFH GLA Home; What is Mortgage Assistance and Can I Qualify?; Habitat for Heroes Program for Veterans; How to Improve Credit Scores, Avoiding Pitfalls in the Property Tax Process; Neighborhood Watch Programs; and more. The Cal State Dominguez Hills campus is located at 1000 E. Victoria St. in Carson.

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Abortion alarmism

Dear Editor:I simply must respond to Mr. Guido's pro-abortion alarmist nonsense. ("Stop the Blame," Letters to the Editor, 1/26/12) He may be tired of hearing attacks against Planned Parenthood, but I'm tired of hearing that abortion equals "women's healthcare." Having an abortion significantly increases a woman's risk of getting breast and cervical cancer, not to mention the nasty little secret that some abortions do end in death for the mother - yes, even those highly regulated ones performed by men in white coats! And while mental health issues may or may not affect women after an abortion (the pro-choice camp says absolutely not, the pro-life camp says absolutely yes), I happen to know a few who have serious regrets. Even the infamous Jane Roe, a pseudonym for Norma McCorvey, laments her participation in the landmark Supreme Court case striking down most legal restrictions on abortion, dedicating her life to overturning it. Mr. Rivero claims that these now 50 million aborted children were unwanted, but when American couples have to go outside of the country to adopt babies that aren't available here in the states (like all those unwanted girls in China), his statement rings completely false. And then there's the population alarmism. Do we really have a problem with too many people in the United States? Hello, unfunded Social Security mandate for the Baby Boomers! I sure hope he isn't suggesting that we follow China's lead and force women to have abortions because that would be, well, unconstitutional not to mention morally reprehensible. Wasn't Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, a follower of eugenics? You know, that movement designed to wipe out all "human flaws" like, oh, dark skin, low IQ, physical handicaps? Unfortunately for Mr. Rivero, this debate will never end. Both sides are stuck with the cold, hard facts that abortion is an ugly but legal industry. I'd be willing to stop harping on the issue of when life begins (it's conception, by the way, and I'm pretty sure scientists would agree) if we could just agree that the federal government should not be in the business of funding abortions - especially since Planned Parenthood is a billion dollar a year industry that is doing just fine on its own - that young girls seeking abortions must get parental permission, and that killing babies that are viable outside the womb is indeed murder. And considering that more people have lost their lives to abortion than in fighting wars for this country, by about 49 million, I would think these compromises would be acceptable for those in the pro-abortion camp. -- Alaina Neimann, Downey

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Paramount art shows in March

PARAMOUNT - The 31st annual Panorama Traditional Art Show and 14th annual Student Art Show will be presented March 10 at the Progress Park West Plaza in Paramount.The art shows are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A "noted artist" will give a demonstration of their work during the show. For information on the show, including details on how to participate, call John Nowlin at (562) 925-9134.

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Working dog

Dear Editor:Several months ago I witnessed an exchange. A woman was handing over what appeared to be a small, gorgeous white dog to a panhandler. The pink halter and leash indicated the dog was a female. My heart went out to this little defenseless poodle, and I thought about the fate that awaited her. The light changed and I had to go. The following day or so, at the same location, I saw the same bearded panhandler clutching the poodle under his arm and asking for money. Just as I suspected, the dog was a prop. I saw this little dog turn into a dirty, knotted, grey street dog. I felt hopeless and thought she may have a rightful owner. At times I would come home from work and tell my husband, "I saw the poodle working tonight." And my heart would just sink. I agonized over this defenseless little dog and often thought about how I could rescue her. I just hoped he loved her and took good care of her. Well, the answer to my riddle became apparent when one night as I was coming home from work I witnessed a couple walking together at a fast pace with a little grey dog in tow. It finally hit me that this woman was the same woman that handed the poodle over to the same man. I watched in horror (at a stop light near McKenna's cars) that a small poodle was being ignored and practically dragged as she tried to keep up with the couple who were rushing. At one point, the poodle attempted to stop and sniff, or possibly relieve herself, but was quickly yanked by the leash and dragged away. If you lost a dog some time last year and fits the description, the "working dog" is under the freeway, between Downey and Norwalk. Also on Studebaker Road in Norwalk. Please help find the rightful owner. -- Molly Lapin, Downey

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Charlotte McCollum passes away

DOWNEY - Charlotte Day McCollum, born to Ora and Harley Day on Dec. 27, 1919 in Danville, Ill., passed at away on Jan. 14 in Downey at her home she shared with her daughter and son-in-law, Paula and Ralph Amadio, for the past 34 years.She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul; sisters, Marie Osborn and Kate Zimmerman; brothers, Gus, Darrell and Pauley Day; daughter, Cindy Morris; son, Ed McCollum; and granddaughter, Kathy McCollum (Belanger). She is survived by her brother, Tommy Lee Day; daughter, Paula (Ralph) Amadio; son, Bill (Cheryl) McCollum; son, Dennis (Maryann) McCollum; son, Phil (Bonnie) McCollum; and 20 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. More than 250 people attended services at First Baptist Church of Downey. She was interred at Rose Hills on Jan. 19.

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Volunteers to work at shelter for show tickets

DOWNEY - Volunteers will be at the county animal shelter in Downey this Saturday as part of their pledge to complete two hours of community service in exchange for two tickets to a Russell Brand and Sarah Silverman comedy show.Volunteers will hand-make decorations and wearable art to bring greater attention to shelter animals in need of permanent homes. In exchange, they will receive tickets to the comedy show "Love X-Change." The decorating event is from 10 a.m. to noon and will feature a Valentine's Day-themed adoption event. The county animal shelter is at 11258 S. Garfield Ave. in Downey.

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Foot massage parlor gets OK

DOWNEY - A foot massage parlor received permission from the Planning Commission this week to open in a Telegraph Road strip mall.In exchange for the approval, Relax Foot Spa at 9448 Telegraph Rd. consented to provisions that its massages be limited to the back, neck and shoulder and over customer clothing only. The store is also required to keep an open floor plan with visibility through all windows. Customers are banned from a back storage area. City staffers requested the provisions after admitting the city "has had problems with massage establishments conducting illegal activities." "However, staff is not overly concerned about the proposed use. This lack of concern is due to the open nature of the floor plan," community development director Brian Saeki and associate planner Jessica Flores wrote in a staff report. The store, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, will feature 11 massage stations. Customers are not required to disrobe and massages are done in view of other customers. Relax Foot Spa is owned by Fan Qiao, of Rosemead.

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Guerra donates to Christian school

DOWNEY - Downey Councilman Mario Guerra recently presented a $5,000 donation to Calvary Chapel Christian School's Steve Anderson Athletic Fund, named after the former Calvary coach who died from cancer.Anderson began his career at Calvary Chapel in 2002. Two years later he helped to lead the girls basketball team to their first CIF finals appearance in school history. Anderson continued to instruct at Calvary Chapel for the next nine years, only stepping down due to the progression of his illness. Guerra's donation will be dispersed by the Steve Anderson Athletic Fund and will give qualifying students the opportunity to participate in the various sports programs offered at the school. The fund is designed to assist students who would not otherwise have the financial means to participate.

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Crime Report

Thursday, Jan. 26
At 6:30 p.m., a male entered the Tri City Liquor at 13421 Lakewood, brandished a handgun, and robbed the store clerk before running away. Detectives are investigating.
At 7:30 p.m., a Downey man was arrested for Hit & Run and Drunk Driving after he was involved in a traffic collision at the intersection of Brookshire and Imperial. Officers located the suspect at Brookshire Park and found him to be intoxicated.
Friday, Jan. 27
At 5:30 p.m., a juvenile walking near Florence & Rives was robbed at knife-point of his cell phone. The robber ran to a nearby getaway car being driven by an accomplice. A Good Samaritan witnessed the crime and followed the suspects, alerting police. Officers arrested the suspects for armed robbery.
At 10:00 p.m., officers arrested a 32-year-old man, following a short pursuit through city streets. The suspect had been seen speeding and driving recklessly in the 12400 block of Rose. The suspect refused to yield, but eventually pulled over; he was arrested for drunk driving and evading police.
Saturday, Jan. 28
At 12:00 p.m., about 100 people protesting on behalf of Michael Nida marched from Paramount and Imperial to the Downey Police Station. There was minimal traffic disruption and no reports of violence, injury, or damage.
At 6:00 p.m., a female entered the Rite-Aid at 7859 Firestone Boulevard and stole some pills. The store clerk attempted to detain the woman outside, but the suspects’ accomplices threatened to shoot the clerk if he continued to intervene. The suspects are facing robbery charges when caught. Detectives are investigating.
Sunday, Jan. 29
At 1:00 p.m., officers were notified that unknown suspects had spray painted multiple buildings, uprooted trees, and placed trash receptacles on the roof at Warren High causing an estimated $2,000 in damages. Detectives are investigating.
At 9:45 p.m., two males attempted to steal alcohol from Downey Liquor in the 7600 block of Firestone but were stopped from doing so by the store clerk. The suspects assaulted the clerk, but he was not seriously injured. The suspects are facing robbery and assault charges when caught.
Tuesday, Jan. 31
A robbery occurred at a liquor store in the 9000 block of Imperial at approximately 4:20 p.m. when four individuals entered the store to purchase beer. One of the suspects attempted to run out of the store with the beer, but the clerk blocked his path. The suspect pointed a handgun at the clerk and fled the store with the beer. Downey Detectives quickly developed leads to the suspect’s location and arrested 18-year old Jose Rueda from Pico Rivera. Rueda was charged with armed robbery and transported to the Los Angeles County jail. Detectives are still searching for the three remaining suspects.
Information provided by Downey Police Department.

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Published: February 2, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 42

Physician to discuss PAD

CERRITOS - Dr. Randall Harada of Pioneer Medical Group will discuss peripheral arterial disease at a workshop Feb. 29 at the Cerritos Senior Center.The workshop is free for adults ages 50 and older. Peripheral arterial disease, also known as PAD, is a common yet serious disease that develops when arteries in the legs become clogged with plaque. People suffering from the disease are 4-5 times more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than the average person. Harada will discuss the signs, symptoms and current treatment options of PAD. For more information, call the senior center at (562) 916-8550.

********** Published: February 2, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 42

Rummage sale at church

DOWNEY - Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will hold its annual rummage sale and bake sale this weekend, Feb. 3-4, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.The church will be selling glassware, clothing, collectibles, antiques and baked goods. The church is at 13200 Columbia Way.

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Fundraiser to benefit symphony

DOWNEY - February, the month of Valentine's Day - the month of love.One special kind of love the Downey Symphony Guild expresses is love for our magnificent symphony orchestra - now and forever! They manifest that love in varied ways, but one of their most ambitious is the one special gala each year. This year the festivities fall on Friday, Feb. 10, very close to that loving day. The Embassy Suites hotel in Downey is the setting at 6:30 p.m. when a very special menu is planned. The Embassy always does a fine job for us. Along with meeting old and new friends, fine dining and the always popular silent and live auctions of useful, beautiful and surprising treasures, it will be one way of showing support for our fine orchestra and the valuable Music in the Schools program. Reservations at $65 per adult should be received by Feb. 3. Please mail to: Downey Symphony Guild, 9700 Garnish Dr., Downey, CA 90240. For more information, please call (562) 861-8507. --Rosalie Sciortino, Downey Symphony Guild

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Russell V. De Leon

Air Force Airman 1st Class Russell V. De Leon recently completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. De Leon completed an eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills. He is the son of Reynaldo and Maria De Leon, of Downey. He graduated from Warren High in 2005. ********** Published: February 2, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 42

Risks when refinancing your home

If you are a homeowner who was lucky enough to buy when mortgage rates were low, you may have no interest in refinancing your present loan. However, if you bought your home when rates were higher, or perhaps you have an adjustable rate loan and would like to refinance, be cautious.The number one thing most people consider when buying out their current mortgage and financing a new loan are the costs associated with the refinancing. Costs can include prepayment penalties, application fees, credit report fees, appraisal and legal fees, as well as the potential for private mortgage insurance and additional life insurance coverage. However, one more important aspect to consider when refinancing that most people overlook but that could have disastrous consequence is the waiver of the anti-deficiency. These provisions of section 580b of the California Code of Civil Procedure protects the consumer from the lender institution from coming back and making the consumer pay for any losses associated with the failure to pay their mortgage after they have been foreclosed on. Section 580b prevents a lender from holding a borrower personally liable for a balance on the mortgage when a person's house is foreclosed on by the bank. To qualify for this protection, the law states that "a mortgage or deed of trust on a dwelling for not more than four families given to a lender to secure repayment of a loan which was in fact used to pay all or a part of the purchase price of that dwelling occupied, entirely or in part, by the purchaser." In regular English this means that you used all the money the bank lends you to buy the property (i.e. you didn't use some of the money to buy a car or remodeled your home). This is called a "purchased money" mortgage. If an owner refinances a purchase money mortgage, which is protected by § 580b, does the immunity from a deficiency judgment continue? The question is particularly relevant when the owner is a homeowner who has § 580b protection refinances with a different bank or lender. The answer depends on whether the original mortgagee is paid off, or new security is substituted. Several courts have held that for the case where the original loan is paid off, the § 580b immunity will be lost. The court reasoned that the pay-off of a purchase money mortgage was a transaction not cover under § 580b protection. The California Civil Code requires an initial disclosure of the anti-deficiency protection to purchase-money mortgage borrowers, but it does not require disclosure of the potential loss of that protection during refinancing. The absence of an enforceable duty to disclose anti-deficiency protection or the conditions of its loss means that many borrowers which are typical homeowners who are without legal representation are vulnerable to losing the protection of § 580b without notice or recourse or even knowing that it existed in the first place. Refinancing dramatically changes the risk allocation between lender and borrower of overvaluation of the collateral - the home - by shifting it overwhelmingly to the borrower. The true cost of refinancing, then, can only be known if the loss of § 580b anti-deficiency protections is factored into the equation when making the decision to refinance. With that said, do your research well and seek legal advice on the interpretation of your loan before your consider refinancing. The purpose of this column is to provide general information on the law, which is subject to change. It is not legal advice. Consult a lawyer if you have a specific legal problem.

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Miss Cerritos contest March 13

CERRITOS - The Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce will host the 2012 Miss Cerritos contest on March 13 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.Miss Cerritos is not a pageant, organizers said, but a "professional development opportunity for young women." "We are looking for professional, outgoing, responsible, articulate young women to represent the Chamber as an ambassador throughout the year," Chamber officials said in a press release. Women must be a high school graduate or equivalent, no older than 27, and live, work or go to school in Cerritos, or work for a business that is a member of the Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce. Women interested in participating in the Miss Cerritos contest should call the chamber by Feb. 23 at (562) 467-0800. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

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Downey water

Dear Editor:Public Works director John Oskoui is to be commended for proceeding with the much-needed upgrading of Downey's water well systems (pumps, motors, etc.). Our system is 60 to 70 years old and it's long overdue for upgrading. In the years to come our population will increase and the need for this upgraded system will be necessary. Downey is fortunate to have a high quality, clean, safe water supply. It's of such high quality that chlorination is unnecessary since chlorine is effective against many pathogenic bacteria; it doesn't need treatment or disinfecting. State and federal governments require water supplies to be biological safe, free from disease causing organisms. Our city water is tested once a week. Around town there are 25 testing stations where there is a pipe that the technicians runs off a few gallons of water then test samples are taken. These test samples are checked for many minerals and pathogenic bacteria. State and federal government keep close tabs on these test samples. Bottled water is not under such careful testing as it is largely done by the individual bottled water companies. It is interesting we have excellent quality water just by turning the tap but many people feel the need to use expensive bottled water. It's sort of like bottling air and selling it for an enormous profit. Bottled water is a multi-billion dollar business in the USA. Some people who may find our water not to their liking can try placing a bottle in the fridge for cooling, icing it, or run it through a carbon filter at the tap; these methods will make water more palatable. Years ago this author frequently took several giant plastic water bottles and filled them at commercial water sale shops. These heavy 40-pound bottles were then placed in our water cooler. This technique was boring, tiresome, hard on the spine, not inexpensive and took valuable time. Bottled and tap water come from essentially the same sources: lakes, springs, aquifers; bottled water isn't any safer or purer than tap water. In south Downey the giant Coca-Cola Bottling Company uses millions of gallons of Downey water each week. Be assured this highly successful company uses only the best materials, including pure, relatively inexpensive water in their products. If it is good enough for them, why shouldn't it be good enough for personal use? Try it - you'll learn to like it and think of the money you will save! -- Byron Dillon, Downey

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Library's 'Grandma Trude' has died

DOWNEY - Trude Koll, best known as "Grandma Trude" by patrons and staff at the Downey City Library where she volunteered for more than 20 years, passed away on Jan. 30.Born July 13, 1919 in Germany, she loved children and books, and devoted countless Saturdays reading to children through the library's Read-to-Me program. Koll entertained the children - along with parents and staff - with her stories every Saturday, rain or shine, even if it meant scheduling a Dial-a-Ride. As Koll began to lose her eyesight, she memorized many of her favorite stories, turning them into live performances. One eye gave her particular problems with vision, so she would put a ladybug or butterfly sticker on her eyeglasses to let children know she wasn't able to see out of that eye. Due to health issues, Koll stopped reading at the library five years ago but still stopped by on occasion to say hello.

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Local U.S. troops receive banners

DOWNEY - Family members of local U.S. troops currently away from home on active duty were honored by the City Council last week.The city presented the families of Steven Jeffrey Mains, Angela Loya Ford, Marco Julio Barrera and Steven Marcos Yniguez, Jr. with personalized military banners that hung throughout the city. All were raised in Downey. The military banner program was introduced in 2009 to express support and appreciation for Downey residents who are active in the U.S. military. "I am honored to be able to recognize these great men and women who have given so much to protect our freedom and this is just a simple token of appreciation for all that they do for our country," said Mayor Roger Brossmer. During the Jan. 24 ceremony, Brossmer honored each service member individually and thanked them for their service. More banner presentations will be made throughout the year, Brossmer said. For more information on the military banner program, or to make a donation, call (562) 904-1895 or go to downeyca.org.

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Yolanda Adele

Downey resident Yolanda Adele visited Graceland for what would have been Elvis Presley's 77th birthday. Adele, whose story about being kissed by Elvis at this 1969 Las Vegas opening at the International Hilton was published in the Patriot a couple years ago, was interviewed by Elvis Radio/Sirius Radio where she told them of that memorable time. "I mentioned that The Downey Patriot published my story, and they sent out kudos over the airways to The Downey Patriot from Memphis, Tenn.," said Adele. "I thought you'd like to know." ********** Published: February 2, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 42