Article byline

Dear Editor: The Patriot’s issue of Oct. 16 included an article about a staged performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, “H.M.S. Pinafore,” coming Sunday afternoon to the Downey Theatre.

This is the first concert of the 33rd season of Chorale Bel Canto, a fine choral organization based in Whittier, whose members will sing the chorus parts.

The article’s byline credited me as the writer, and I’ve raked in lots of compliments. I just wish I had written it. But it is in fact the work of Chorale Bel Canto’s Administrative Director and Editor, Karen Bourgaize, whose sprightly words reflect perfectly the jaunty spirit of “Pinafore.”

Joyce Sherwin


Editor’s note: we apologize for the error.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Frederick Dickinson

October 23, 1939 - October 10, 2014 Frederick Dickinson passed away on Friday October 10th 2014; it was very sudden without warning from a major heart attack at the age of 74. He was born in Waterman DeKalb, Illinois. He began life in Aurora, then moved to the family farm in Lee where his adolescent years were spent, and graduated from Glenbard High School in Glen Ellyn Illinois.  Just after graduation Frederick served his country in the Air Force beginning September 1958 and was honorably discharged September 1964, Rank: Airman 2nd Class, two stripes, decorated with a good conduct medal. Most of his time was spent in Alaska at Fort Yukon as a Radar Operator Intercept Control Technician. Upon discharge, having quite enough cold weather for awhile, he moved to Hollywood CA; where he soon met his wife to be- Sandra (whom he is predeceased by). They remained in CA, and had a daughter. He was a very devoted Father and husband, creating a very close network of friends that became more like extended family. Frederick lead a very full, happy life; he was a brilliant, creative free thinker and a very unique, special individual. Just out of the Air Force he found employment as a mechanic, he could build an engine from scratch or fix any problem. From this he segwayed into big rig truck owner/operator, he loved to drive, travel and see the country. In 1974 he shifted gears (no pun intended) allowing his creative side to take the spotlight pursuing a career in journalism. He graduated with Honors from Cerritos College with AA in Journalism, an award in Political Science and was editor of the student newspaper. He then attended California State University Fullerton receiving a BA in Communications. He was an author, photographer, and entrepreneur. Along with several books and short stories (some of which have been published), he wrote and photographed for Boat Race Magazine (covering friends like Rocky Aoki-founder of Benihana), the Herald Examiner, Southeast News and others. After awhile he began Dickinson Photography an independent advertising/photography studio, followed by Creative Communications. Later in life he focused more on pure art photography, winning several awards and selling his art. He has also had more than twelve letters to the editor published in the Los Angeles Times..getting one in would have been a great feat. Not able to stay away from his love of the road and driving, he returned as an Oversized Load Escort Pilot-participating as a support system of the big rigs he once drove. He was also a board member at Temple Ner Tamid, and Masonic Past Master. He certainly kept busy.

Frederick is lovingly remembered and survived by his daughter Pamela, brother Richard, sister Barbara, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; as well as grandnieces and grandnephews.  He will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held in Downey California at Temple Ner Tamid on October 26th at 5:30pm. The Temple’s address is 10629 Lakewood Blvd, Downey CA 90241.  In lieu of flowers, donations to Temple Ner Tamid in his honor of his memory are welcome.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

PIH Health Hospital health event

Event attendee Carla Flores, age 9, and Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Rosalio J Lopez MD MBA operate on a “patient” during a friendly game similar to Operation at PIH Health Hospital - Downey’s one-year anniversary event last Saturday. “The Downey hospital campus has been a cornerstone of the community for more than 90 years and PIH Health plans to preserve that legacy,” said Brian Smolskis, chief operating officer of PIH Health Hospital - Downey. “We will continue to offer high-quality hospital care at the same location.”

This hospital is part of a larger healthcare system that includes PIH Health Hospital - Whittier, nearly two dozen medical office buildings located throughout the community and a multi-specialty medical group.

PIH Health has a service area of 2.1 million lives – a population that is larger than 15 U.S. states.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

No on 46

Dear Editor: MICRA (the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act), which means compensation for pain and suffering, has been capped at $250,000, which kept the cost of medical care under some control for many years.

Now the greedy trial lawyers want to increase their own profit at the expense of healthcare providers, patients and taxpayers by raising this limit to $1.1 million.

This aspect did not pull well with the smart California voters so they played with cynical and manipulative wording on the ballot measure, thinking it would trick the voters to pass their proposition. So they added two points that would delay and make medical practice unrealistic:

Mandatory drug and alcohol testing for all physicians

To prevent dispensing any pain medication except after clearing it through a state-run database, which would delay the care and be unrealistic to implement.

So please go to and tell your friends to vote no on Proposition 46 because it is damaging to medical care in California and, as you know, if it passes, other states will follow California.

Dr. Shahira A-Malek




Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Boys & Girls Club honoring Downey teen

DOWNEY – Warren High School student Margarita Gomez will be honored as the Youth of the Year by the Rio Hondo Boys & Girls Club at an awards banquet Oct. 29 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Commerce. Other honorees include Viviana Rodriguez (Volunteer of the Year), El Aviso Magazine (Business of the Year), Rose Hook (Woman of the Year), Robert Rubio (Man of the Year), Jeffrey Schwartz (Educator of the Year), Capt. Pete Finnerty (Firefighter of the Year), Victor Palacios (Deputy Sheriff of the Year), and the Vernon Police Department (Police Employee of the Year).

The awards ceremony will also include the installation of the club’s 2014 officers.

Cost to attend is $75 per person. For tickets or information, contact Robert Rubio at (310) 344-1590 or



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Heroin overdoses on the rise, CDC says

Heroin deaths increased sharply in many states, according to a report of death certificate data from 28 states published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Despite these findings, still more than twice as many people died from prescription opioid overdoses as died from heroin in these states in 2012. Though not directly addressed by this study, two things appear to be driving the increase in heroin overdoses: (1) widespread prescription opioid exposure and increasing rates of opioid addiction; and (2) increased heroin supply. While the majority of prescription opioid users do not become heroin users, previous research found that approximately 3 out of 4 new heroin users report having abused prescription opioids prior to using heroin. This relationship between prescription opioid abuse and heroin is not surprising; heroin is an opioid, and both drugs act on the same receptors in the brain to produce similar effects. Heroin often costs less than prescription opioids and is increasingly available.

“Reducing inappropriate opioid prescribing remains a crucial public health strategy to address both prescription opioid and heroin overdoses,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Addressing prescription opioid abuse by changing prescribing is likely to prevent heroin use in the long term.”

Key Findings:

•This new study examined changes in heroin and prescription opioid death rates in 28 states between 2010 and 2012. The 28 states represented 56 percent of the U.S. population.

•From 2010-2012, the overall heroin death rate across the 28 states doubled.

•The sharp heroin overdose increase extends the trend observed in the 2011 national mortality data.

•Five states had increases in prescription opioid death rates, seven states had decreases, and sixteen states had no change.

•Of the 18 states with reliable heroin overdose death rates examined individually in this study, 15 had statistically significant increases in heroin death rates. No state had a decrease in the heroin death rate.

•The increases in state heroin death rates from 2010-2012 were associated with increases in prescription opioid death rates.

“This study is another reminder of the seriousness of the prescription opioid overdose epidemic and the connection to heroin overdoses,” said Grant Baldwin, Ph.D, M.P.H, Director, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. CDC and other federal agencies are working to promote a smart, coordinated approach to reduce inappropriate prescribing and help people addicted to these drugs.”



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Miguel Banuelos in Mammoth Lake

Downey resident Miguel Banuelos and fellow members of the Silverback Fishing Club (est. 1992) pose with the Patriot at their annual one-week fishing trip to Mammoth Lakes. From left: Miguel Banuelos, Chris Martin (photo bomber), Richard Gutierrez and Matt Martin. The 4 1/2-pound rainbow trout was caught at George Lake. This year’s big catch was Matt’s 6.8-pounder at Gull Lake.  


Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

‘Spooky Science Night’ at space center

DOWNEY – The Columbia Memorial Space Center will host its annual Spooky Science Night this weekend, Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, from 5-9 p.m. Games and contests begin at 5 p.m., along with music and food trucks outside the center’s main entrance. The space center will officially open at 6 p.m.

Spooky Science Night includes a variety of activities and demonstrations, including make your own slime, build a bat and ghost, robotics labs, raffles, a maze, and more. All regular exhibits will also be open.

Admission is $5 and guests are encouraged to dress in costume.

For questions, call (562) 231-1200.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Japan - 1965

In 1965 Charlene Farnsworth and her parents embarked on an adventure that is not uncommon today, but rather unique at that time – a world tour, including the Orient. Moreover, the ladies did their traveling in dresses and high heels, and the Japanese bullet train, Shinkansen, was only a year old.  Shared Stories is a weekly column featuring articles by participants in a writing class at the Norwalk Senior Center. Bonnie Mansell is the instructor for this free class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program. Curated by Carol Kearns While reminiscing about the wonderful 28-day “Around the World” tour that my parents and I took in 1965, I located our trip journals and a photo of our departure.  In the photo, one can see how formally we dressed when we traveled back then.

Mom and I are wearing two-piece outfits, complemented by high heels and gloves, and Dad is wearing a nice suit and tie.  During our sightseeing, we wore wash-and-wear clothing and more casual walking shoes.

The necessary passports, visas and shots were obtained and we began our adventurous trip to 12 countries in the Orient, Middle East and Europe.  After a brief stay in Hawaii and a stop on Wake Island to refuel, we arrived in Tokyo, Japan.  Our German guide, who would be with us throughout our trip, met us at the airport.

Our immediate impression of Japan was that of friendly people and immaculate streets.  The women walked on the outside of the street and dressed in both western and Japanese attire.  Some wore an “obi” to conceal their waistline and give a more straight up-and-down effect.

The automobiles were right-hand drive and motorists drove on the left side of the street. The exchange rate was 360 yen to $1.00 American compared to today’s rate of approximately 106 yen.

The following day, we took the train to Nikko.  A cute incident occurred in the train station.  A young Japanese girl got my attention, but could not speak English.  After struggling to make me understand her concern, she raised her skirt slightly and I quickly realized that my slip was showing.

The Japanese people take great pride in maintaining well-manicured homes and surrounding land. The rooftops were of colorful clay tiles: blue, green, brown, chartreuse,

etc.  Bamboo poles served as clotheslines and no clothespins were used.  The bamboo was fed through the sleeves and legs of the garments.

We saw many children strapped to their mothers’ backs.  Likewise, some of the Japanese children carried their dolls in the same manner.

After our train ride, we traveled by bus around 30 hairpin curves. Mirrors were placed on each numbered curve to warn of oncoming traffic.  From the bus, we could see many women digging ditches.

At Nikko, wish makers had tied thin paper strips on the trees.  Our first experience of removing our shoes was at the Shinto Shrine where the original carving of the three monkeys—”see no evil,” “hear no evil” and “speak no evil”—is located.

Numerous Japanese students were touring in groups.  We learned this was mandated by their school system.  In their last year of school, they were sent on a trip for about seven days at approximately $4.00/day. If the parents could not afford this trip, it was supplemented by the government.

The following morning, we saw the Olympic Stadium, built for the 1964 Olympics, and Ginza Street, the main thoroughfare of Tokyo.  We stopped at the Asakusa Amusement Center where we shopped and visited a shrine.  A pot of burning incense was at the entrance to the shrine.  The Japanese wave their palms over the incense and then rub their stomachs to cure them of their ills.

In the afternoon we boarded the 130-MPH super-express train for a 3-1/2 hour trip to Kyoto, Japan.  What gorgeous countryside—tea plants and rice fields galore.  Every now and then we saw small cemeteries with extremely large, elaborate headstones.  These cemeteries can accommodate quite a few as cremation is usually practiced. As we sped along, we could also see many eel ponds.

In Kyoto we enjoyed a performance by graceful apprentice Geisha girls during our dinner.  The dining area was divided into two sections: Japanese low tables (mostly occupied by Americans) and regular tables (with many westernized Japanese eating here). They have certainly modernized the Japanese low tables. They now have a hole below the table where you may put your legs and stretch out comfortably.

We toured Kyoto by bus on our third day in Japan.  We first visited Nijō Castle with its “nightingale floors” that squeak loudly when walking on them.  The boards were placed loosely to warn of any unwelcome intruders.  Next was the Sanjusangendo Hall of 1,001 Buddhas, which houses varied life-size images of Buddha.

At the beautiful Golden Pavilion and Heian Shrine a wedding party was in attendance. The bride was dressed in bright red.  Weddings often last three days and are arranged by the parents and a “go-between”— usually an aunt or uncle.  We learned that every married couple must be a go-between to properly complete their own marriage.

Last on our tour were the Tatsumura Silk Mansion and a cloisonné factory.  The process of cloisonné is the minute hand-wiring on flat copper pieces which are then filled in with clay, painted and baked.  When one of the lovely china cups was held up to the light, a Geisha girl’s face appeared on the bottom.

Our final day in Japan included a wild taxi ride to an arcade in Kyoto to do some last-minute shopping.  Outside the snack shops were displays of the meals that could be purchased—eggs, meat, sundaes, etc.—all made of artificial materials.  Upon returning to our hotel via another roller coaster taxi ride, we packed for our morning departure.

The following morning, we bid farewell to our friendly Japanese guide and boarded the plane for a 2½-hour flight to Taipei, Taiwan, to continue our memorable “Around the World” journey.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Library open house, marketplace

DOWNEY – The Friends of the Downey City Library will host its annual open house and holiday marketplace Saturday, Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the library’s Cormack Room. They will be selling an assortment of handmade crafts, holiday decorations, stocking stuffers, holiday craft books, and quality recycled gifts and treasures.

There will also be a one-day only raffle on a number of donations from local businesses. All proceeds benefit the Downey City Library.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Downey Library celebrates Halloween

DOWNEY – The Downey City Library will celebrate Halloween with a series of free, family-friendly events. This Saturday at 1 p.m., the library will screen “The Addams Family.” Based on the popular television series, the film is about a group of con artists who try to steal the Addams’ vast fortune with the help of someone who is a dead ringer for long lost Uncle Fester.

On Tuesday and Wednesday between 10:30-11 a.m., children ages 3-5 are invited to trick-or-treat while dressed as their favorite character from a book or movie.

Kids can also make a craft, listen to spooky stories and enjoy refreshments.

Trick-or-treating is for individual children only and their caregivers; no groups allowed. Children should arrive early as doors will close at 10:30.

Next Thursday, Oct. 30, from 6:30-7 p.m. is a Halloween-themed Family Story Night.

The program is free and intended for families with children ages 3-7. Pre-registration is not required.

For questions on any of the programs, call the library at (562) 904-7360, ext. 127.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Flu clinic Nov. 8

DOWNEY – Free flu shots will be offered Saturday, Nov. 8, between 9 a.m. and noon at the Downey Civic Theatre. The flu vaccinations will be administered by the L.A. County Department of Public Health and are available for anyone without health insurance or whose healthcare provider does not offer flu vaccines.

The date and time of the flu clinic is subject to chance. To confirm the date and time, call (562) 464-5350.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Hunger Walk raises $11K

DOWNEY – The third annual Downey CROP Hunger Walk two weekends ago helped raise more than $11,000 to fight local and global hunger eradication efforts. Several schools, businesses and organizations participated in the walk, resulting in 350 total walkers.

Downey Police Explorers, under the supervision of Detective Paul Edwards, served as crossing guards as walkers trekked several miles around Downey. Students at OLPH School collected hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food items to fill the empty shelves at PTA HELPS.

The pre- and post-walk ceremonies were DJ’ed by OLPH School eighth graders Ryan and Robert, and Mayor Fernando Vasquez shared encouraging words, noting “how wonderful it is to see our city coming together to fight hunger.”

“While we didn’t quite reach our intended goal of $20,000, we are entirely grateful for every penny that came in,” organizers said. “12.5 percent of this year’s funds will go to PTA HELPS and 12.5 percent will go to FoodHelp. The other 75 percent of this year’s funds will be used by Church World Service where needed most in the world.”

To make a contribution online, go to and click the “donate” tab.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Dr. Suess’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Tickets are on sale to see Dr. Suess’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. The production, about the scheming Grinch whose heart is “two sizes too small,” will play Dec. 10-14.

Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased by calling (714) 556-2787.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Asssistance League Christmas brunch returns to Downey Nov. 23

DOWNEY – The Assistance League of Downey will host its annual Christmas Tree Brunch at the Rio Hondo Event Center on Sunday, Nov. 23. “Members have been busy trimming Christmas trees, making hand-crafted items, filling baskets and collecting treasures for sale,” members of the Assistance League said. Profits from the brunch will be used to fund the many philanthropic projects of the League, including Operation School Bell, Kids on the Block, its dental program, Christmas distribution, scholarships, and H.O.M.E.

Tickets are $50 and include lunch, entertainment, a silent auction, vendors, and opportunities to win decorated trees and gifts.

Reservations are available by calling the Second Tyme Around Shop at (562) 869-0232.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28

Cal State Long Beach awarded $22.7M grant

LONG BEACH – California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has received its largest award ever -- $22.7 million over five years -- from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish an innovative research program that prepares underrepresented students for doctoral programs.  This initiative, Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD), will allow CSULB to establish the most comprehensive and transformative research training program in its history. “This award has the potential to become a national model and secure Cal State Long Beach’s place as a biomedical and behavioral research training ground,” said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley. “We are very excited and proud to have been chosen for this potentially transformative award. The opportunities it will bring about for our faculty and students are truly unprecedented for this university.”

Through the BUILD program, underrepresented undergraduate students will receive mentoring and research training at CSULB and two research partner institutions -- University of California, Irvine (UCI) and University of Southern California (USC) -- to help them succeed in doctoral programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. When the program is at capacity in year five it will be able to support more than 200 students each year. The university also will establish a research curriculum that increases the number and the diversity of undergraduates going on to doctoral programs.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for our students and our faculty. As the largest award in the university’s history, it provides funding for stipends or hourly pay for students engaged in the training programs and research and allows us to renovate shared research spaces on campus and buy research instruments.  In addition, our faculty will be able to create new partnerships at Research I Universities, enhancing their research competitiveness,” said Laura Kingsford, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at CSULB.

There will be 10 BUILD awardees selected nationally. The idea is that underrepresented minorities will likely be more interested in studying the critical issues that affect them, such as health disparities and different health problems.

In an effort to help students to think about this early, CSULB is partnering with Long Beach Unified School District and Long Beach City College as well as with Cerritos College and Golden West College.

USC’s role will focus on public health, and UCI will focus on science, behavioral sciences and engineering. In addition, CSULB has a research partner at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Long Beach where there are staff with joint faculty appointments with UCI.  Students in their junior or senior year will be required to do summer research at a Research I Universities as defined by the Carnegie Foundation, but it doesn’t have to be at UCI or USC. There will be two student tracks -- one for students who are likely to graduate in four years and one for students who may need more support or for transfers.  Finally, if students aren’t accepted in a doctoral program right away, CSULB can continue to enroll them for 10 months as a post-baccalaureate student.

The first year of this grant is a ramp-up year where CSULB will be hiring staff, establishing the training programs and curriculum and developing partnerships. The goal is that by summer 2015, CSULB will be ready to start student training. This will include working with students’ families to help them understand more about the career options. The students selected for the program will get paid and, as a result, faculty will benefit from having students who have time to work in their labs. CSULB faculty will help these students get into research doctoral programs.

NIH has defined a real need to get more underrepresented individuals into research careers in biomedical sciences – anticipating that they will be very interested in doing research in areas that address health disparities and are funded by the NIH.  BUILD also provides many resources for faculty development to enhance research competitiveness and success in getting major funding in the biomedical sciences.



Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28