6 | OCTOBER 28, 2013 - november 03, 2013
First 5 LA commends the Governor for signing bills supporting pregnant women and families with young children Babies, families with young children and pregnant women all scored a major victory when Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 402 requiring all birthing hospitals to incorporate recommended breastfeeding practices and AB 290 which improves licensed child care facilities by requiring that nutritional training be integrated into current training received by directors and teachers of child care centers. “First 5 LA is extremely pleased with the governor’s support of these bills,” said Kim Belshé, executive director of First 5 LA, a child advocacy and grantmaking agency. “To achieve large scale and lasting change in the lives of youngsters, families and communities, we must have public policy change that will benefit children prenatal through age 5 throughout Los Angeles County.” SB 402, authored by Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles), has moved California closer to current policy and practice recommendations for maternity care. His bill requires all general acute care hospitals and special hospitals that have a perinatal unit to adopt specific steps for successful breastfeeding. Research shows breastfeeding benefits both mothers and their babies. It also provides a significant cost savings for the health care system and employers. Studies point out that
breastfeeding improves health outcomes by reducing children’s risks for acute infections and sudden infant death syndrome, as well as chronic diseases including asthma, diabetes and obesity. “What happens in the hospital or birth center plays a crucial role in establishing breastfeeding and helping mothers continue to breastfeed after leaving the facility,” said Belshé, whose agency earlier funded a multi-million dollar hospitalbased project to improve Los Angeles County’s low breastfeeding rates. “The new state policy is a huge step forward for breastfeeding and will help new mothers get the support they need from the start in order to reach their own breastfeeding goals.” The other legislation AB 290, authored by Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), relates to the Child Day Care Act and provides that for licenses, a director or teacher who receives the health and safety training shall also have at least one hour of childhood nutrition training as part of the preventive health practices. As one of its 10 public policy goals over the next five years, First 5 LA is encouraging expanded federal food programs with higher nutritional standards and better nutrition in child care settings. According to Belshé, childhood obesity is an epidemic with detrimental health consequences, as well
as serious economic costs, healthy eating and physical activity go hand in hand in an environmental approach to promote healthy childhood weight and early learning. The other nine policy goals are: • Increasing supports for breastfeeding • P r o m o t i n g comprehensive, affordable health insurance for all • P r o m o t i n g reductions in drug, alcohol and tobacco use by parents/ caregivers • Expanding access to, and improve quality of, early care and education programs • E x p a n d i n g voluntary home visiting • S u p p o r t i n g integration and sharing of data • Strengthening the prenatal to 5 workforce • Expanding early identification and intervention • Promoting family strengthening principles and prevention practices in the child welfare system “To advance these goals, First 5 LA incorporates a variety of tools such as public policy development, issue education, advocacy, public policy grant making and collaboration,” said Belshé. “We also collaborate with others dedicated to improving the lives of children in these important efforts.” For more information on First 5 LA’s policy agenda http://www. first5la.org/Policy-Advocacy .
Seventh annual Dia de los Muertos celebration at Live Oak Memorial Park honors Hispanic tradition and culture A special celebration of Dia de los Muertos, the traditional Hispanic festival of remembrance in which departed spirits feel welcome to hold a reunion with living relatives, will be held from noon to5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Live Oak Memorial Park in Monrovia, Calif. For more information, please call Live Oak Memorial Park at (626) 359-5311. This is the seventh annual event at Live Oak, and it is free and open to the public. Face-painting will begin at 11 a.m., followed by the mass and celebration at noon. Los Angeles attorney Rolando Hidalgo will serve as master of ceremonies. Dia de los Muertos is
a festive time of remembrance in which families decorate tombs of deceased relatives and install memorial altars where special offerings are laid out with the intention of calling home the spirits of the dead. These altars – which are often set up on a tabletop or on boxes of various sizes – can include everything from tissue-paper dolls, candles and pan de muerto (sugar-coated breads) to photographs, water glasses, musical instruments and a variety of other gifts. The tradition is to include items that would be appealing and comforting to the returning souls. Along with the celebration, face-painting, music and traditional mass, the
Dia de los Muertos celebration will include exhibits from various artists, highlighting Mexican-inspired arts and crafts, paintings and photography. Live Oak Memorial Park is a proud Dignity Memorial® provider in Monrovia. The Dignity Memorial network of more than 1,800 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers is North America’s most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence. For more information, visit www.LiveOakMemorialPark.com.
Gang leader goes to prison Continued from page 1
by United States District Judge George H. Wu. Aguirre is one of the last defendants to be sentenced in relation to a 2009 racketeering indictment that charged 88 linked to the Avenues street gang in northeast Los Angeles (see: http:// www.justice.gov/usao/cac/ Pressroom/pr2009/115.html). The wide-ranging racketeering case alleged a host of crimes, including the August 2008 murder of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Juan Escalante and the killings of several other victims. Most of the other defendants named in the indictment have previously been sentenced, receiving prison terms of up to 25 years. A co-defendant – Carlos Renterria, who admitted that he shot two rival gang members in the head at close range in an attempt to murder them, and that he plotted to murder a fellow Avenues gang member – also received a quarter-century prison term from Judge Wu earlier this month. According to court documents, including his plea agreement, Aguirre was authorized by the Mexican Mafia to control the activities of the Avenues street gang on the street. As the leader of the Avenues, Aguirre would regularly meet with members of the Mexican Mafia at California penal institutions, where he would receive instructions and authorizations for certain violent crimes,
and where he would relay information regarding the activities of the Avenues gang. Among other things, Aguirre was given the authority for designating individuals to collect extortionate “taxes” from drug dealers and others living and working in the area claimed by the Avenues gang. These “taxes” would then be funneled to the Mexican Mafia. As part of his role in the Avenues, Aguirre shot and killed a rival gang member in 1999. Aguirre was charged with that murder in state court, but the charges against him were dismissed based on pre-trial rulings in that case. Aguirre subsequently was charged with that murder as part of federal case brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (the federal RICO statute), and in July he pleaded guilty in the federal case, admitting that he fatally shot the victim in the Cyprus Park area of northeast Los Angeles. Aguirre also admitted that he authorized the 2008 murder of an Avenues member because he and others believed that man was skimming money that he collected as “taxes” on behalf of the Avenues gang and the Mexican Mafia. “No matter what steps criminal gangs like the Mexican Mafia and the Avenues use in attempts to control neighborhoods through in-
timidation and violence, we will ensure that the residents do not need to live their lives and raise their families in fear,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “I am proud that my office played an instrumental role in bringing justice to a predator responsible for two murders and overseeing a gang that caused so much harm to northeast Los Angeles.” The federal investigation into the Avenues gang that led to the RICO case was conducted by the Los Angeles HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force and the Los Angeles Police Department. The HIDTA group that conducted the investigation is made up of agents and officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, IRS - Criminal Investigation, the Ontario Police Department, the Riverside Police Department, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. The federal investigation into the Avenues began after the August 2, 2008 murder of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Juan Able Escalante, who was shot outside his Cypress Park home as he was getting ready to go to work at the Men’s Central Jail.