Chili receipes needed

DOWNEY – The Downey Chamber of Commerce’s second annual Veterans Day’s Weekend Chili Cook Off and Business Expo will take place Sunday, Nov. 9, from 12-5 p.m. at the Downey Elks Lodge. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 10 and younger. Proceeds will benefit the Living Tree Foundation.

For tickets, or for details on how to submit a chili recipe, contact Mia Vasquez at (562) 923-2191 or mia@downeychamber.com.

 

**********

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

Viewing political corruption more broadly

Earlier this year, veteran political writer Thomas Edsall reported an eyebrow-raising fact about Americans’ views toward government. Polling by Gallup, he noted, found that the proportion of Americans who believed that corruption is “widespread” in government had risen from 59 percent in 2006 to 79 percent in 2013. “In other words,” Edsall wrote, “we were cynical already, but now we’re in overdrive.” Given the blanket coverage devoted to public officials charged with selling their influence, this shouldn’t be surprising. Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife were convicted last month of violating public corruption laws. Former mayors Ray Nagin of New Orleans and Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit were good for months of headlines. So were Republican Rep. Rick Renzi, convicted last year on influence-peddling charges, and Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who pled guilty to charges of misusing campaign funds.

If you add state and local officials who cross the line, it might seem that we’re awash in corruption. Yet as political scientist Larry Sabato told The New York Times, that’s more perception than reality. “I’ve studied American political corruption throughout the 19th and 20th centuries,” he said, “and, if anything, corruption was much more common in much of those centuries than today.”

Nor have the numbers over the past couple of decades risen. In 1994, according to the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, 1,165 people were charged in public-corruption cases, of whom 969 were convicted. Last year, 1,134 were charged, of whom 1,037 were convicted.

Corruption is hardly a negligible issue. Americans rightly have very little tolerance for public officials who are on the take. Officials who violate the law in this regard should face criminal prosecution and incarceration.

But what’s notable about our corruption laws is how narrow they’ve become. This point is driven home by Fordham Law School Professor Zephyr Teachout in her new book, Corruption in America. “As a matter of federal constitutional law,” she writes, “corruption now means only ‘quid pro quo’ corruption.” Prosecutors today have to prove an intentional exchange between “briber” and public official, in which the official receives a benefit for taking action.

Teachout argues that our Founders were quite resistant to public behavior promoting private interest. She quotes George Mason, for instance, arguing against giving the President the power to appoint key officials: “By the sole power of appointing the increased officers of government,” Mason insisted, “corruption pervades every town and village in the kingdom.”

As late as the second half of the 1800s, American society was alarmed by the notion that private individuals might seek to influence government on their own or others’ behalf. “If any of the great corporations of the country were to hire adventurers... to procure the passage of a general law with a view to the promotion of their private interests, the moral sense of every right-minded man would instinctively denounce the employer and the employed as steeped in corruption,” the Supreme Court declared in 1874.

We have another word for “adventurers” these days. We call them lobbyists.

Americans remain uncomfortable with “corruption” as our forebears viewed it. A hefty majority believe that government is run on behalf of a few big interests. And Congress, whose ethics committees have not been rigorous in looking for misconduct that brings discredit on their chambers, has contributed to that view.

I would hardly contend that all who seek to promote their private interests are corrupt. But I do think the Founders had a valuable insight when they saw that a focus on private concerns could lead to neglect of the common good.

I have the uneasy feeling that too many politicians are self-absorbed, failing to put the country first, and using their office to promote their private interests. Our Founders had very firm ideas about the importance to the nation of “virtue” in a public official — and they were thinking expansively about the basic standards of public accountability.

Maybe it’s time we looked to them for guidance, and not think of corruption only in the narrow sense of violations of specific laws or precepts, but more broadly in terms of failing to pursue the common good.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

 

**********

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

Furman Park walking trail opens next week

DOWNEY – Furman Park’s new walking trail will officially open Saturday, Nov. 1, after a dedication ceremony that begins at 10:30 a.m. The public is invited to the dedication, which will include arts and crafts for kids, information booths, giveaways, and a dedication walk.

Immediately following the dedication, city officials will hold a groundbreaking at Apollo Park for that park’s new walking trail.

The groundbreaking begins at 12:15 p.m. and is also open to the public.

The new walking trails at Furman and Apollo parks were made possible through a $600,000 grant from the Los Angeles County Regional Park & Open Space District.

New fitness equipment will also be installed near the trails for the public to use.

 

**********

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

Volunteers needed for Thanksgiving meal

DOWNEY– Breath of God Christian Fellowship, in conjunction with the Aggressive Community Training and Services Foundation, will host its 25th Thanksgiving outreach dinner on Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center. Volunteers are needed to help serve dinner to men, women and children from local shelters.

Volunteers will help prepare and serve hot meals, set up equipment, and decorate.

To sign up as a volunteer, call the church at (310) 767-9620. Monetary donations for the food can be sent to Breath of God at P.O. Box 39903, Downey, CA 90239.

 

**********

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

Dia de los Muertos next weekend

DOWNEY – The second annual Dia de los Muertos festival, featuring food trucks, live performances, fine art, shopping, films, and more, will take place Sunday, Nov. 2, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Downey Theatre. The free event will feature continuous ballet folklorico performances, screenings of the cult film “Macario,” sculpture exhibits, Aztec dancers, and more than 20 vendors.

The festival is family-friendly.

 

**********

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

PIH marking one year in Downey

DOWNEY – PIH Health Hospital-Downey will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a special event Saturday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free flu shots will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and also child vaccines for kids on Medi-Cal or without insurance. Parents must bring their child’s immunization record (yellow card) to receive a vaccine.

There will also be exhibits of recent hospital upgrades and updates on construction projects, in addition to health screenings, games and activities for all ages.

Free healthy food and beverages will be served.

The event is free and open to the public. PIH Health Hospital-Downey is located at 11500 Brookshire Avenue in Downey.

For questions, call Amy Naumovski at (562) 698-0811, ext. 81128.

 

**********

Published: Oct. 16, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 27

Stroke prevention seminar adds 100 slots

DOWNEY – Due to overwhelming demand, 100 reservation slots have been added so that more members of the local community can attend the final Downey Primary Stroke Prevention Seminar of the year on Wednesday, October 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Rio Hondo Event Center. In addition, life-saving carotid artery screenings, which can cost upwards of $500 at a doctor’s office, will be provided free at the seminar. Registering for the seminar is easy.  Simply visit http://rthfoundation.org/single-event/seminar-stroke-dementia-2/ or call (888) 794-9466 to register.

“The lives of many Downey-area residents have been saved because our screenings detected that their carotid arteries were nearly 100 percent blocked,” said Deborah Massaglia, President of the RTH Stroke Foundation.

“None of these individuals had any idea they had this life-threatening condition,” she said.  “We advise adults to have this painless ultrasound screening annually, because it is a critical element in assessing a person’s risk for stroke.”

Free blood pressure screenings will also be offered at the seminar.  In the last two years, nearly 300 individuals were diagnosed with life-threatening high blood pressure levels at the Downey Primary Stroke Prevention seminars, which are sponsored by the RTH Stroke Foundation in partnership with Rio Hondo Event Center, The Downey Patriot, Keck Medicine of USC and PIH Health.

The free seminar on October 29 will also feature a presentation on Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia by one of the world’s most renowned doctors and researchers, Dr. Helena Chang Chui.

“We think Dr. Chui’s message is so important that we have opened these new reservation slots, but based on previous experience they won’t last long,” Deborah said.

Dr. Chui holds the Raymond and Betty McCarron endowed Chair at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and serves as chair of the Department of Neurology. She is internationally recognized for her research in Alzheimer’s disease and vascular cognitive impairment.

“Having Dr. Chui speak is a great way to end our year of Primary Stroke Prevention Seminars in Downey,” Deborah said. “She is a tremendous speaker, a legendary researcher, a visionary leader, and an even greater person.

“I know that anyone who hears Dr. Chui speak on October 29 will learn things that can help them improve their health and the overall quality of their life,” she added. “We recommend that our friends in their community make their reservations now so that they can attend this very special free seminar.”

 

**********

Published: Oct. 16, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 27

Downey students chosen to perform

DOWNEY – Students from Gauldin and Ward elementary schools will perform at the 36th Annual Very Special Arts Festival Friday  morning at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles. The free public concert “shines the light on the artistic accomplishments of K-12 students with disabilities along with their mainstream peers.”

Students will perform on two outdoor stages on the Music Center Plaza. Students will also participate in visual and performing arts workshops and enjoy a student art exhibit created around the theme “A Year to Remember,” in honor of the Music Center’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

The festival is from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

**********

Published: Oct. 16, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 27

Plastic bag ban

Dear Editor: The op-ed “Banning Plastic Bags: Giving Up Convenience for the Greater Good” published in the Oct. 2 edition of the Patriot was so very one-sided and failed to include some very important facts that Californians should be aware of.

The term “one-time use bags” is a misnomer. The fact is that 90 percent of consumers reuse their grocery store bags for conveniences such as storage, lining waste baskets, cleaning up after your dog, lining cat litter boxes for easy clean up and disposal. Studies show that banning the use of grocery store bags does not decrease litter in landfills. Not having grocery store bags will force the consumer to purchase expensive replacement bags (Glad bags) often made of heavier plastic and will end up in the landfills too.

Grocery store plastic bags require 70 percent less energy and require 4 percent less water compared to the manufacturing of paper bags.

Impacting your health: the ban on disposable bags will force consumers to purchase reusable bags that, unless properly sanitized after each and every use (soap and hot water), will result in harmful, unhealthy food-borne bacteria growth. How many consumers that currently use reusable bags wash their bags after hauling packages of chicken and beef home from the grocery store? Storing the bags in the trunk of your car increases the speed of bacteria growth.

Hundreds of millions of bags are imported from China and other countries. Many have been found to contain dangerous levels of lead. These foreign countries are not held to the stricter manufacturing standards of the United States.

Jobs: grocery store plastic bags are made in America. The ban in California directly impacts the employment of 2,000 Californians. Nationally, the industry directly employs 30,000 citizens.

Heal the Bay assures consumers they have the option of purchasing a recycled paper bag or reusable bag at checkout. While burdening the consumer with extra costs, forcing the most vulnerable low income citizens and seniors to purchase retail paper or heavier plastic bags, the grocery stores stand to make billions. And get this...grocery stores are not required to pay the state of California tax on the revenue earned from selling replacement or reusable bags sold at the checkout counter.

There is an effort underway to put the issue of the bag ban on the ballot to allow Californians the opportunity to let citizens (not politicians) decide whether “giving up convenience” is truly “for the greater good.” Citizens that prefer not to see their grocery store costs increase, prefer not to support China’s economy, prefer to save California jobs, are encouraged to send a message to their legislators to get this measure on a ballot.

Alicia Wheeler

Downey

 

**********

Published: Oct. 16, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 27

St. John Bosco hangs on to beat Mater Dei

BELLFLOWER – Win and move on is exactly what the Bosco Braves did last Friday when they hung on to knock off the Monarchs 28-25 in the Trinity League opener for both teams. It wasn’t pretty at times, but getting a win in the Trinity Football League, especially against Mater Dei, is more about survival than how you look getting the victory.

Aided by three crucial fumbles by Mater Dei and some timely third down conversations by the Braves offense, Bosco was able to overcome their own mistakes on this evening and hand the Monarchs their first defeat of the year.

For like most of this season it’s been the same song and dance for Bosco. The offense starts off slow; the defense keeps them close until quarterback Josh Rosen and his offensive unit starts to put scoring drives together.

On this evening the theme for the Braves defense turned into “bend, but don’t break.” After a quick three and out for Bosco’s opening possession of the game Mater Dei marched down inside Bosco’s ten yard line, to the Brave’s nine. From there the Bosco defense tightened, forcing the Monarch’s into a 22-yard field goal attempt that missed wide right.

The contest remained scoreless until late in the first quarter when the Monarch’s Elias Deeb connected on a 32-yard field goal to put the visiting team in front 3-0.

Bosco responded on their next possession putting together a long drive, keyed by a couple third down conversions, then capped by Rosen’s 2-yard rushing touchdown to give Bosco the 7-3 lead.

The lead was short lived, because the Monarchs took the ensuing kick-off and went 80-yards in four plays to recapture the lead 10-7 on Brandon LaMarche’s 4-yard blast into the end zone.

The back and forth affair didn’t end there. Bosco didn’t blink and were able to put together a balanced run and pass drive that resulted in a terrific throw and catch from Rosen to Kaylin Franklin for a three-yard TD. The senior wideout finished the night with six catches for 139 yards and the one TD.

It was Mater Dei’s offense turn next, but a costly fumble by quarterback Jack Lowary deep in Bosco territory stalled their drive. The fumble, recovered by Leti Epenesa, allowed the Braves to turn that turnover into points. Once again a key third down conversion kept the Bosco scoring drive alive. Bosco running back Sean McGrew took a handoff on a draw play and scampered 40 yards down to the Mater Dei 14 yard line. A few plays later McGrew punched it in from seven yards out, giving Bosco the 21-10 lead with only 45 seconds left in the half. McGrew’s 119 yards rushing on the night lead all runners and was the first 100+ rusher Mater Dei had allowed all year.

The momentum Bosco took into the lockeroom at halftime quickly moved to the Monarch’s side in the third quarter.

Mater Dei’s offense balanced out, going to the running game more behind their massive offensive line and the defense was doing their part to keep Rosen and McGrew in check.

With just over three minutes left in the third quarter Mater Dei punctuated an impressive drive with Noah Delgadillo’s 11-yard rushing TD. After Lowary connected with tight end Kyle Penniston for the 2-point conversion the Bosco lead was down to three, 21-18. Lowary tossed for 343 yards and Penniston had 121 receiving yards on seven catches.

Once again Bosco was unable to move the ball after the ensuing kick-off and was forced to punt the ball back to the Monarchs, giving them excellent field position.

Having the Braves defense on their heels, Lowary and company continued to drive the field and find their rhythm as the third quarter came to an end.

In a bizarre display of not being on the same page, Mater Dei called two timeouts in the span of three plays and had a 5-yard motion penalty, but still found themselves poised to take the lead starting the fourth quarter.

With Mater Dei knocking on the door, the Braves needed someone to step up and make a play. That someone turned out to be Traveon Bell. After defensive end Jacob Callier knocked the ball away from a scrambling Lowary, Bell scooped up the fumble and went untouched for the 71-yard defensive touchdown that pushed the Bosco lead to ten, 28-18 early in the fourth.

Down, but not out the Monarch’s took advantage of a Bosco miscue when a bad snap allowed Mater Dei’s Jalen Cole to return a blocked punt by teammate Jed Smith. The score cut the Bosco lead down to 28-25 with just under five minutes left in the game.

Stifled for much of the second half the Bosco offense was able to move the ball past midfield and eat up some of the clock, but a holding call and a dropped pass (one of five Bosco receivers had on the night) helped turn the ball back over to Mater Dei’s offense.

Starting the drive from his 23-yard line with 2:20 left in regulation, Lowary quickly connected with his favorite target, Penniston to start the drive. Picking up yards in chunks the Monarch’s drove to the Bosco 39-yard line and with 1:49 left to play had plenty of time to try and move closer for a tying field goal attempt or keep driving for a go ahead touchdown.

However, with the help from some moisture in the evening air Mater Dei’s Lowary went back to pass and when flushed out of the pocket the football simply slipped out of his hand and recovered by Bosco to seal the game 28-25 for the Braves.

The first loss of the year for Mater Dei (5-1, 0-1) is even more painful because it has them looking up at Bosco in the Trinity League standings once again. For the Braves they improve to (5-1, 1-0).

No time to rest for either of these teams. Mater Dei takes on Servite this Friday, 10/19 at Cerritos College and Bosco travels to south Orange County to play JSerra. The game will be played at Orange Coast College.

 

**********

Published: Oct. 16, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 27

Cuban-themed concert event Wednesday

DOWNEY – Downey’s rooftop concert series in Downtown Downey will draw to a close Wednesday with “Havana Nights,” a Cuban-themed concert that begins at 7 p.m. on the top floor of the downtown parking structure. La Charanga Cubana, a 10-piece Cuban band, will perform while accompanied by a salsa dance show. Professional salsa dancers will offer basic salsa lessons during intermission.

David Gonzalez, former radio personality on Radio Unica, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Porto’s Cafe and KMR Gourmet are catering the event, and Gavina brand products will be available for sampling, including Cafe La Llave Espresso-based drinks (cappucino, latte and espresso shots) and drip coffee.

There will also be a community art exhibit, a Cuban memorabilia vendor, and more.

The event is free and open to the public.

 

**********

Published: Oct. 16, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 27

STEM’s roots in DUSD

Dear Editor: Based on the two letters to the editor in The Downey Patriot titled, “Failure in Math and Science Education Beginning to Add Up” (September 18) and “Math and Science – Not Just for Rocket Scientists” (October 9), I would like to address the thoughts of Mr. Dick Resch, CEO of KI Furniture in Wisconsin.

In the September 18 letter, Mr. Resch states the following, “Without a dramatic overhaul of math and science instruction, American students will continue to lag behind those in the rest of the world. Engaged learning strategies have proven successful in boosting student achievements quickly and dramatically.”

The Downey Unified School District’s goal is to immerse all students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Engaging our kids with hands-on activities and providing 21st Century environments is the present and future for our community. Officially adopted by the Board of Education in July, the Downey Unified School District’s vision is for all students to graduate with a 21st Century education that ensures they are college and career ready, globally competitive and citizens of strong character.

I agree with Mr. Resch that fostering engaged learning empowers students to play a more active role in their own education. By increasing the amount of STEM offering at all levels of education, DUSD has taken the necessary steps to make this educational shift possible.

As a direct outcome of Measure D, a school bond measure that was passed by voters in 2002, the Downey Unified School District has been able to reconstruct the way students learn. Seven years ago, DUSD rolled out two Project Lead The Way (PTLW) classes at the high school level, Aerospace Engineering and Architecture. PLTW is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM curriculum. The PLTW program inspires and engages students through hands on, project-based curriculum. Research on PLTW programs across the U.S. offers evidence that PLTW contributes to raising student achievement and motivation in science and engineering, both of which are essential to success in these career fields.

Today, the PLTW program offerings in DUSD schools have grown substantially. Currently, we offer a total of over 30 classes in a variety of engineering areas; including, Aerospace Engineering, Architectural Design, Introduction to Engineering, Principles of Biomedical Engineering, CAD/CAM Drafting, Engineering Physics and Computer Science Engineering.

Stated by Mr. Resch in the October 9 letter, “Engaged learning models are trickling down into the elementary and secondary schools, too.” Approximately three years ago, the district endeavored to build a pipeline to our high schools by integrating the PLTW Gateway To Technology (GTT)curriculum into our middle schools. Currently we offer GTT at all four middle schools; classes include Design and Modeling, Automation and Robotics, Green Architecture, Flight and Space, and Medical Detectives. As of this year, DUSD is also beginning a brand new program utilizing PLTW in grades K-5 called Launch, spreading project-based STEM learning to the elementary level. We are one of the only districts in the nation using PLTW in all grades K-12.

Also shared in the October 9 letter, “Allowing students to practice by doing… results in a whopping 75 percent retention rate. The way forward is clear: Embrace technology, collaboration and hands-on learning.”

The implementation of project-based learning furthers the vision the Downey Unified School District has for our students and their respective futures. Keeping our kids up-to-date with technology, reenacting real-life career situations inside the classroom and staying ahead of our ever changing, globally competitive society is the way forward for our kids.

The DUSD recognizes where education is going which is why the Board placed a bond measure on the November 4 ballot. If the community supports the bond measure, the district can continue implementation at all levels.

Keeping Downey on the cutting edge of education and remaining loyal to our roots that began in the aerospace industry seem a natural fit. This is a community that has always believed in our kids and that they deserve the best we can offer.

Dr. John Garcia

Dr. John Garcia is Superintendent of the Downey Unified School District.

 

**********

Published: Oct. 16, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 27

Gallery subsidies

Dear Editor: Re: “Stay Gallery Marks Two Years”, 10/9/14

The headline should have read: Stay Gallery Celebrates Two Years of Subsidies.

David Johanson

Downey

 

**********

Published: Oct. 16, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 27

Books up for auction

DOWNEY – The Friends of the Downey City Library holds monthly silent book auctions in order to raise money to help support the various programs of our local library. This month the following items are up for bid: “The Kingdom of the Cat” (learn about the cat’s history, biology and association with myth and legend; also see how the cat has been depicted in art and literature);

“Buster Keaton” (the complete films of the actor and director-includes a book and three VHS tapes);

“The Planets-A Journey Through the Solar System” (nearly 200 spectacular images of the planets, their moons and other space objects moving through our solar system);

“Lady Gaga” (more than 450 candid behind the scene photos);

“Imagine-John Lennon” (a tribute to his art and timeless legacy);

“The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt” (a detailed historical coverage from the early Stone Age to its incorporation into the Roman Empire-lots of maps and photographs);

“Ghosts of the Sky-Aviation in the Second World War” (a collection of photographs and stories of WWII aircraft from both sides of the battle);

“Wildflowers-A Collection of U.S. Commemorative Stamps” (hundreds of photographs with detailed descriptions of each flower and where they can be found);

“Cat O’ Nine Tales and Other Stories” (12 stories by Jeffrey Archer show his ingenious plots and unexpected conclusions);

“Magic Words of Fantasy” (from Picasso to the remarkable work of four amateur painters, this book illustrates how an artist paints what his mind sees);

“Cake Pops-Tips, Tricks and Recipes” (learn how easy it can be to make 40 different treats with step-by-step instructions);

“Halloween at the Zoo” (a very clever pop-up book for kids of all ages).

Books have opening bids from $5-$10 and are on display in the library lobby. Bids can be made through noon, Saturday, Oct. 25, on cards in the Friend’s Bookstore which is located in the young adult section of the library.

 

**********

Published: Oct. 16, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 27