Erik Estrada to appear at Downey church

DOWNEY - Veteran television actor Erik Estrada will be at Redeemer Covenant Church in Downey next week to screen his newest film, "Finding Faith.""Finding Faith" is a full-length movie that tells the true story of a 14-year-old girl named Faith who accidentally falls victim to an online predator. Estrada is the national celebrity spokesman for the Safe Surfin' Foundation, which produced the film. "Finding Faith" will be screened Sunday, March 24, at 5 p.m. Redeemer Covenant Church is at 10801 Fairford Ave. (behind the former Cadillac dealership). To learn more about the film, go online to

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St. Joseph's Table celebrated at church

DOWNEY - St. Raymond's Catholic Church will host its 31st annual St. Joseph's Table this Sunday inside the Msgr. Bob Gipson Hall.The celebration begins at 9 a.m. with a liturgy celebration and procession, and the viewing of the table from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The blessing of the table is at 12 p.m., and a pasta dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call Charlene Drobeck at (562) 928-1937.

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Kaiser awards Downey $10K grant

DOWNEY - Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center has awarded Downey a $10,000 grant to support the mayor's "Healthy Downey" initiative."Healthy Downey" is a collaborative effort introduced by Mayor Mario Guerra to encourage residents to lead a healthy lifestyle. The grant will pay for a part-time activity specialist to help with "Healthy Downey" outreach, including educational brochures and flyers. Kaiser Permanente is also sending Guerra and Mayor Pro Tem Fernando Vasquez to the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials Health Academy. Since opening in 2009, the Kaiser Permanente hospital has given more than $80,000 to several non-profit organizations to promote health and wellness in Downey. "Kaiser continues to be a great partner for our community and we appreciate all they do," said Guerra. "Being a founding member of Healthy Downey...shows their commitment to our city, our youth and our future. Our city is excited and honored to receive this grant to be able to continue moving toward a Healthy Downey." As part of "Healthy Downey," the city is hosting its first 5K run to benefit the TLC Family Resource Center. Guerra also hosts regular walks at Downey High School.

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Citywide Easter egg hunt planned

DOWNEY - The Downey Lions Club is sponsoring a citywide Easter egg hunt March 30, starting at 11 a.m.Thirty giant Easter eggs bearing the Lions Club logo will be hidden throughout Downey. Residents who find an egg should redeem it for an Easter basket in the Columbia Memorial Space Center parking lot. The egg hunt is free and the public is encouraged to participate.

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Jerry Dwindle Thornton

Jerry Dwindle Thornton, a longtime resident of Downey, CA, and of The Woodlands, Texas for the past eight years went to our Lord on March 5, 2013. Born in Camp Hill, Alabama to Paul Andrew Thornton and Clara Beatrice Short on November 1, 1928, he was the oldest of four children. He moved in his early youth to California mainly due to his father's health needs. Jerry worked various jobs starting at the age of twelve until joining the Army at the less than legal age of seventeen. Corporal Jerry Thornton served as a Command Center Attache' in occupied Austria. Upon receiving his honorable discharge, Jerry returned to school to earn a BA in Education with honors from the then new Long Beach State University. He forged further ahead to finish his MS in Education Administration at USC (Jerry loved his Trojan alumnus status). His entire career was devoted to the Downey, California educational system where he spent his first three years teaching elementary grades and junior high level. In 1956, Jerry transitioned to the esteemed role of principal at several of Downey's elementary schools, and in 1969 accepted the post of Coordinator for Downey Unified Special Education from which he retired in 1988. Jerry held several additional committee and advisory positions over the years in support of Los Angeles County and the state university systems. Jerry was preceded in death by his wife Mary Ann Broersma of 52 years, and a brother, Paul Thomas Thornton. He is survived by brother Jack (May) Breese and sister Nancy Wright. All five of Jerry's children were able to be with him in his final earthly hours. They are Jeanne Sue (Barry) Hoy of Merritt Island, Florida, Marianne Gouge of Palm Springs, Cheryl Lynn (Bruce) McCaughan of Santa Fe Springs, James Bryan (Kathryn) Thornton of Oakland, and Carol Thornton (Ken) Weller of The Woodlands, Texas. Jerry always felt blessed under God's kindness and was never shy when talking about his ten grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Jerry loved the ocean, camping in the CA redwoods, body surfing, and snorkeling. For many years he and Mary could be seen on the beaches of Southern CA or traveling via camper across the continental US. Often his children and some grandchildren would join them for hours of fun in the sun at Corona Del Mar where Jerry was known by the local "kahunas" by the red body board he used. Jerry also loved good music with a special ear for early country, the penning of quips such as "think in pencil and coast uphill", poems and short essays, and spinning laughable tales at family events. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jerry's memory to: The Arc of Los Angeles and Orange County, 12049 Woodruff Avenue, Downey, CA 90241 A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, March 16, 2013, 4:00PM at his home church, First Presbyterian Church of Downey located at 10544 Downey Avenue, Downey, CA. ********** Published: March 14, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 48

Antonia "Toni" LoCicero

Antonia "Toni" LoCicero passed away, surrounded by her three daughters who loved her deeply, on the 23rd of February, 2013.She was born to the late Jose and Guadalupe Ramirez, the youngest of seven children, on the 28th of September, 1937. Antonia attended Downey Elementary and graduated from Downey High School. She then married her high school sweetheart Robert LoCicero and had three daughters. They had fourteen years together and divorced. Antonia was more than a housewife. She worked at JC Penny's as a corsetiere, she did modeling for different agencies, she was the first Downey princess in the Rose Parade, and proud to be a Dodger Doll. Antonia is survived by two sisters Amelia and Helen, her daughters Sherrie, Tina, and Jessica, and four grandchildren, Mark, Clinton, Matthew, and Madison. She is preceded by her sisters Lupe and Lola, and brothers Julio and Jose. Services will be held at Dudley Hoffman Mortuary on Saturday, March 16th at 3 pm. Arrangements are under the direction of Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memory Gardens.

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Wi-Fi may be coming to public places

DOWNEY - Two years after agreeing to install Wi-Fi inside the Downey City Library, council members are considering expanding wireless internet access to select parks and public buildings.It's unclear which city-owned properties could get Wi-Fi or how much it would cost. A detailed report is expected to be presented to the City Council at a future meeting. Mayor Pro Tem Fernando Vasquez suggested installing Wi-Fi in the downtown area, an idea well received by fellow council members. Councilman Roger Brossmer has first suggested Wi-Fi expansion in the past but it never happened due to budget concerns, said community development director Brian Saeki. "Today, there could be new funding sources available that were not included in staff's original study," Saeki wrote in a report to council members. In February 2011, the city council spent $8,800 to install Wi-Fi inside the library, plus $700 per month for an upgraded internet connection.

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Downey Police contracts with LexisNexis

DOWNEY - Traffic collision reports will soon be available online after the city council on Tuesday agreed to contract with LexisNexis to manage its reports.Records personnel inside the Downey Police Department currently have to manually scan traffic collision reports written by police officers, in addition to filing the original report. Personnel also respond to requests for traffic collision reports. Last year, the police department handled 1,058 requests for collision reports, about 90 percent of which came from insurance companies, city officials said. The police department charges $15 for a report copy. LexisNexis will now allow police officers to upload reports directly to an electronic database. When an insurance company or member of the public requests a collision report online, it will be handled by LexisNexis, which will collect Downey's $15 fee. LexisNexis adds a $7 convenience fee, which it retains. Residents can still walk into the police station for a collision report and pay $15. Police Chief Carl Charles said the LexisNexis software will free up records personnel staff and make the department more efficient in managing the reports. He also touted the convenience of requesting a collision report online. "The LexisNexis eCrash Application will allow our officers to complete their traffic collisions on software that is similar to what they are currently using," Charles wrote in a report. "However, the eCrash software allows the report to be submitted, reviewed and uploaded into our Records Management System electronically, eliminating the need to print out a report or manually scanning it."

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Historical society showing WWII-era musical

DOWNEY - "The Fleet's In," a 1942 musical starring William Holden and Dorothy Lamour, will be screened by the Downey Historical Society on March 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center.Filmed at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, the film is 92 minutes long and "has all the winning elements: romance for the ladies, fighting Navy men for the guys and great music, singing, dancing and acting for everyone." In "The Fleet's In," the Navy is docked and naturally the men are pursuing their favorite sport of trying to charm the females. Through a series of misunderstandings, a very young William Holden is thought to be a lady's man. The fleet is betting he can get the Countess (played by Dorothy Lamour) to kiss him in public. She is the top singer at a San Francisco nightclub and has the reputation of being unapproachable. The screening is free and open to the public.

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Knabe's statement on stormwater initiative

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, in a joint motion with Supervisor Gloria Molina, this week put forth a motion to stop the Clean Water, Clean Beaches initiative in its current form and work with stakeholders to develop a new measure that addresses the concerns voiced by the public over the last several months.The Board also asked for quarterly progress reports and a target election date of June or November 2014. He issued the following statement on its approval: "While I have long supported efforts to ensure clean water and beaches, I have been against this measure from the beginning as it was not fair and transparent in content or process," said Supervisor Knabe. "We must start over. Unfortunately, our stormwater problem is exacerbated by the expensive, and often unrealistic, demands placed on us by the Regional Water Quality Control Board which increased the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) from two pollutants in the old permit to 33 pollutants, which would cost this region tens of billions of dollars to comply with in the next 20 years alone. "A regional, integrated approach to this issue is absolutely critical to develop an economically feasible solution. However, the current measure did not outline a specific list of projects. Voters have a right to know where their money is going. Also, it was a fee with no end date. I believe more accountability is necessary for voters to support this program. That is why I asked that our Department of Public Works continue its outreach to cities, school districts, non-profits and the business community, our job creators, to address their concerns about rate reductions and double-taxation issues on those already making efforts to capture and clean their storm water under existing State and Federal mandates. Finally, should this Board in the future decide to move forward with a new Clean Water, Clean Beaches measure, it should be put before the voters in a general election ballot and not through a mail-in ballot, as was originally proposed. I appreciate the public taking the time to attend our board meetings and voice their concerns through the many messages and phone calls to our offices. The approval of today's motion shows that you were heard."

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How to grab the bull market by the horns

The stock market's climb and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing in March at its first new high since the Great Panic of 2008 prompted a lot of conflicting predictions from analysts.Some say it marks the end of an impressive bull market, while others say it's just the beginning of a much larger rally. These predictions may or may not turn out to be correct -- and they leave the investor confused. However, as with the downturn four years ago, there are smart financial moves everyone can make to potentially take advantage of the new stock market high.

Rebalance - Rebalancing is the process of correcting an asset allocation that has become over-weighted or under-weighted due to a market fluctuation. In layman's terms, it is the process of bringing all your investments back into a predefined mix of equities and fixed income assets. This is an important part of creating an investment strategy. Your portfolio may be over-weighted in stocks because of the new market high. Rebalancing now would force you to harvest some of the gains. When the market is down, rebalancing would force you to buy at reduced prices. Although there are no guarantees, buying low and selling high is a terrific investment strategy!

Donate Appreciated Securities - Anyone charitable minded may have a perfect opportunity to meet donation goals and double their tax savings using appreciated securities. Provided you have owned the security for at least a year, you can donate the asset and use the current market value as a deduction on your taxes. You also avoid paying capital gains tax on the asset if you had sold it. This could be a significant tax savings on stocks purchased four years ago during the market low.

Exercise Stock Options - Stock compensation is an important tool of corporations today in attracting and retaining key employees. Many executives find a significant portion of their compensation being paid in the form of stock options. This may be an excellent time to exercise some of your vested stock options if your company stock participated in the market rally. Stock options come in two forms: non-qualified stock options (NQSOs) and incentive stock options (ISOs). Both forms come with expiration dates and price targets, but they differ significantly in their tax treatment. Be sure to consult your tax adviser before taking action.

Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) strategy - Withdraw company stock from your 401(k) and, instead of rolling it into an IRA, transfer it to a taxable brokerage account. This strategy avoids paying ordinary income taxes (maximum rate 39.6%) on the stock's net unrealized appreciation and turns it into a capital gain (maximum rate of 20%). There are strict rules to follow so consult a financial adviser who is experienced with this transaction before proceeding.

Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) - The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 reinstated the ability to make a QCD through Dec. 31, 2013. A QCD allows individuals over age 70½ to directly transfer up to $100,000 from an IRA account to one or more charities. These transfers can be done using appreciated securities and are credited toward the IRA owner's required minimum distribution for the year.

Stop Timing the Market - The Great Panic in 2008 and 2009 scared many investors out of stocks entirely. The past four years may have been a missed opportunity as these investors waited on the sidelines for the right time to get back in. You will never know when the stock market is going to go down or when it will recover. The good news is you don't have to know. Devise a solid financial plan using an asset-allocation strategy that divides your money between a diversified equity portfolio and fixed income. Rebalance your portfolio periodically to take advantage of stock market volatility. The famous investor Peter Lynch said "Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections, or trying to anticipate corrections, than has been lost in corrections themselves." Certified financial planner Rick Rodgers is president of Rodgers & Associates, "The Retirement Specialists," in Lancaster, Pa., and author of "The New Three-Legged Stool: A Tax Efficient Approach to Retirement Planning." He's a Certified Retirement Counselor and member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers.

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Immigration laws

Dear Editor:This is an open letter to Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard. Can you please explain to your constituents how it is that you believe it is OK for ICE to release 3,000-plus illegal aliens? You stated that these detainees do not pose a threat or danger to society. How is it that 1.) they broke the law by coming to the USA illegally or staying beyond the approved time 2.) they have three or more misdemeanor offenses 3.) no sheriffs, police chiefs or local mayors were advised prior to their release? Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano says they will be "monitored" but how is this being done? No one knows for certain who the illegals are, and more importantly, where they are. I believe that you or any other representative or senator who advocates this policy should be recalled. I hope the editor of The Downey Patriot might pursue an interview with Ms. Roybal-Allard to pressure her for more information on this serious matter. Maggie Allen Downey

Dear Editor: I was thrilled to see the article in last week's Patriot announcing the workshop sponsored by Rep. Linda Sanchez for legal immigrants pursuing citizenship ("Citizen Workshop Planned in Norwalk," 3/7/13). Why? Because like most law-abiding citizens who quietly go about their lives, I think those who have immigrated here legally are too often forgotten. While there seems to be nearly constant chatter in the media about illegal immigrants and finding a pathway to citizenship for them, barely a word is ever published about the legal immigrants who are just as smart and hardworking, and in my opinion, much more deserving of citizenship because they have earned it lawfully. The article also reminded me of a young woman I used to know. In chatting before and after an exercise class we both attended, I learned she was an immigrant to the U.S. One day, she missed class. At our next class, she mentioned that she was absent because she was attending her swearing-in ceremony for U.S. citizenship. When I congratulated her on becoming a U.S. citizen, she was nearly stunned. She thanked me sincerely, explaining that almost nobody seemed to give it much thought or offered any sort of congratulations when they heard of her accomplishment. I thought this was truly sad. I would encourage the Patriot to re-run the article or otherwise publicize the particulars about the upcoming workshop on Saturday, March 23. Certainly there are some legal immigrants in and around Downey who would be interested in attending. Let's give them a hand by giving them the information they need to make their pathway to citizenship a little easier. Judy Wyhowanec Downey

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Dangers of sinkholes

Dear Editor:We now know how serious a water sinkhole can be: enough to swallow a house, including a human life. Incoming water is more serious than draining water. Beware of gnats outside of the house where the vents are. Gnats are much smaller than flies. They live near vents and fly nearby, and return to under the house. Sometimes they find a way to get into the house. If you see gnats anywhere around the house, it is time to get a plumber and check it out. Mike Rodela Downey

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Early morning sprinklers

Dear Editor:As I rode my bike along Downey Avenue on Monday morning, between Alameda and Stewart and Gray, I saw an elderly couple on the sidewalk in front of a stretch of apartments. The woman slowly led the way as he walked behind her as best as he could, with the aid of a walker. They seemed to have been doing fine until the sprinklers turned on and began to wet them. Before they could get past the sprinklers, they were already drenched. This stretch of sidewalk is frequented each weekday morning by many high school students, so I thought that perhaps the sprinklers were the building management's tactical way of getting these teenagers to stay off the grass and move along quickly. The sprinklers would have certainly gotten me to move along quickly, had I been walking by. I felt helpless as I witnessed the unintended consequences of management's decision to turn the sprinklers on in the morning. The city should consider enforcing an ordinance that limits the use of sprinkler systems along sidewalks from midnight to 4 a.m. Dan Chantre Downey

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Endeavour story

Dear Editor:Last September, the space shuttle Endeavour soared over Southern California and into the memories of millions on the ground, launching millions of stories. I sent a letter to the Patriot about my own experience as I waited for Endeavour in Downey Landing's parking lot. I had no camera that day, but a family nearby, on vacation from Eureka, took pictures of the glorious fly-over and said they would send me copies. Sure enough, thrilling photos arrived with a little note that their oldest son was going to write a story about his Endeavour experience for a PTA contest, and I told the mother I'd love to see it some day. Last week the mail brought another packet from Eureka. The mom wrote, "I just wanted to tell you a little bit about my son Seth's story. He wrote his account of what happened and we submitted to the PTA Reflections contest. It is a national contest that begins at the school level. After all the entires were reviewed by the judges, two literature pieces from our school were selected to move on to the district level. Seth's was one of them. The district consists of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. "Of all the literature pieces submitted in the literature category for children in kindergarten through second grade, Seth's was the ONE that got selected to move on to the state level. I haven't heard anything from the state yet. We were pretty proud of him. He was presented with a medal and a certificate. I have attached the story so you can read it." Seth's story is titled, "The Day I Saw History," and here are a few sentences: "...Endeavour is being carried by a plane. It is on top of the plane. Today is Endeavour's last flight. Now I am at the Downey Landing...The crowd is very excited. Everyone is very excited. That was the best day of my life..." Joyce Sherwin Downey

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High gas prices

Dear Editor:What do you think of the increase in gasoline prices? That was no surprise. 1.) Increase taxes on gas prices. 2.) Fewer people driving, more people using buses. 3.) Less gas sold, less revenue from gas. There is no end in sight. When the word "tax" gets worn out, then you will see a "fee" or "surcharge" added. Oh, yes, there is a refinery problem. Let's not forget that. The only real problem is that we need new federal and state political leaders. The only good politician we had, he wasn't that good either. Do you have an answer? Betty Stockton Downey

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