Lakewood Community 30,000 delivered to Lakewood and portions of Long Beach
Official publication of the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce
Volume 28 Number 4
Lakewood icon is an inspiration to the community by Robin Vanderwerff
Ron graduated from Lakewood High School in 1969.
Graduation Day with his dad & brother.
Ron and his son Sean
As a kid growing up in Lakewood, my friend Shelly and I would make going to McDonalds every Saturday for lunch a ritual that we wouldn’t miss for anything. Our moms would give us our allowance money and we would walk to the McDonalds on Woodruff and Del Amo and order a hamburger, fries and a drink. We loved to look at all the athlete’s pictures in the Youth Hall of Fame. Those are some treasured memories I have of being raised in Lakewood.
Ron & Supv. Don Knabe
I didn’t know at the time that Ron Piazza was the owner of that McDonalds, and now currently owns several others in the city of Lakewood. Ron had humble beginnings as he worked his way through school. Through passion and hard work, Ron has become the inspirational man he is today, currently owning 7 McDonalds in Lakewood, and one in Hawaiian Gardens (employing 380 people). When Ron was just 7 years old, his family moved to Lakewood
Ron “back in the day!”
Ron & his wife, Nancy in one of their McDonald’s restaurants.
from New York. His mom was sick at the time and the doctors thought the warmer climate in California would be better for her. Sadly, 30 days after the move, Ron’s mom passed away. His dad raised Ron and his brother, and times were tough financially. At 16 years old, Ron got his first job at a local McDonalds restaurant. He needed to help pay the rent and he wasn’t afraid of hard work. Over the years, he worked his way up the ladder to Assistant Manager,
Ron & his friends at a past Chamber Golf Tourney.
Ron at the opening of the LB Ronald McDonald House.
then Manager, as he pursued his degree in accounting. “I noticed the owner of the restaurant drove a nice car, and I wondered what it would take to run a business of my own, Ron said, “So I asked the owner what I would need to do. His response was simple: work hard and be passionate.” Ron has definitely showed his hard work and passion over the years, and he continues to be committed to instilling a good work ethic in his team (Cont’d. on Pg. 4)
Pan Am Scholarship
Do you know an active, accomplished high school senior from the City of Lakewood? Is this a person of high character who has been an exceptional student, athlete or community volunteer? Please encourage that young man or woman to apply to be a Lakewood Pan American Festival Association Ambassador. The annual Pan Am Association scholarship program presents awards ranging from $500 to $1,000 for college or trade schools. Those chosen as scholarship recipients will serve as Pan Am Ambassadors, representing the city during the week-long Pan American Festival celebration in early May. Deserving students are encouraged to submit an application before the April 9, 2012 deadline. The program is open to any student that lives in Lakewood, regardless of where they attend school. Students who have overcome adversity, made significant contributions to their schools and/or community, and excelled academically are encouraged to apply. Applications are available at local high schools, the Iacoboni and Nye Libraries, any city park office, and from the Recreation and Community Services Department inside Lakewood City Hall, 5050 Clark Avenue in Lakewood. Applications are also on-line at the Pan American website, www.lakewoodpanam.org. For assistance or information, call Valarie Frost at 866-9771, ext. 2417, or Joe Arambel at 421-0676.
Drop off your sensitive paperwork for some gnarly, professional shredding
Lakewood’s free shredding service and more to be held April 21st. Lakewood Community News #24 Lakewood Center Mall Lakewood, CA 90712 (562) 531-9733
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PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE
Long Beach, CA PERMIT NO. 60101
Identity theft is a growing problem everywhere, and the risks to one’s financial security are real. The City of Lakewood and EDCO Waste Services are partnering to help Lakewood residents safely and effectively dispose of documents that may have sensitive information, such as old bank statements, tax records or financial account information. On Saturday, April 21, the City of Lakewood and EDCO are sponsoring a free shredding service, mulch giveaway & e-waste drop off. The “Lakewood Shreds” event will be held in the Lakewood Civic Center parking lot, behind the Iacoboni Library. (Enter from Civic Center Way off of Del Amo Boulevard or Candlewood Street. The exit for the event will be the driveway to Clark Avenue). The event runs from 9am until 12 noon. Residents will be able to accomplish several tasks at this drive-through
event, which is designed to be convenient and quick. You can dispose of up to three boxes of documents, which will be safely and securely shredded on-site by Shred-Ex, a wellknown, professional shredding company. No cds, dvds, diskettes or other media can be accepted for shredding. Household batteries and electronic waste, such as TVs,
computers, keyboards, printers and cell phones, will be collected for disposal. However, hazardous waste will not be accepted. Residents interested in mulch can get up to two 30 lb. bags free, while supplies last. As a courtesy, Lakewood employees will shovel the mulch, but residents must bring their own bags or cans. (Cont’d. on Pg. 4)
A strong city ready to face the future’s challenges By Mayor Larry Van Nostran
It’s been my honor to serve you as mayor for the past year. As is the tradition in Lakewood and most cities of our size, the mayoral duties now rotate to another member of our city council for a year of service, and I will continue to be a member of the council. This past year as mayor has been busy and one of the most rewarding of my career. In terms of public safety, which is always my top priority, I was very pleased that we saw overall serious crime drop again in Lakewood, continuing a five-year trend of serious crime declining by over 15 percent. A lot of work goes into keeping our community safe. I especially want to thank the men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department who put their lives on the line every
day to serve us. I also want to thank the residents who volunteer in our Neighborhood Watch program. You are a key part of Lakewood’s public safety success. This past year also demonstrated that Lakewood is an attractive place for businesses to locate. We had grand-openings almost every month. The new businesses brought in over 500 new jobs, which was great news for our community. We kept expanding our city website, adding more material about Lakewood government and services. We launched a new Online Bill Pay System for our water and trash service. It’s a big hit already, with over 1,000 Lakewood residents signed up in the first full month of operation. However, all was not rosy this year. The state eliminated redevelopment programs at the local level throughout California, including in Lakewood. It looks like our city will lose between two to three million dollars a year from this takeaway. That’s a five to seven percent hit to our budget. That’s not as bad a hit as many cities are taking, but it’s still significant and presents a real financial challenge for the years ahead. That’s why I’m so pleased with one of the biggest accomplishments of my term as mayor--and that’s persuading our longtime city manager, Howard Chambers, to rescind his retirement and stay on
for another three years. Howard is one of the most experienced city managers in the nation, and we’re especially fortunate to have him for the difficult times ahead. In conclusion, this past year has been a good one for Lakewood, but also one where we can see the gathering clouds of fiscal challenges caused by the state’s takeaway of local government funds and a still-sluggish economic recovery. Lakewood has faced tough work and challenges before, and I am confident that our new mayor and city council will face these head on, with intelligence and determination. We also start from a place of strength, with a wellrun city government with a good financial base. I’m confident that Lakewood will continue to be a city we are proud of, where times change, but our values don’t.
C i t y Spotlight Employers sought for Lakewood Youth Job Fair The Lakewood Youth Job Fair is planned for Thursday, May 24 from 3pm to 5:30pm at the Lakewood Youth Center. The fair brings the resources of the city, local high schools and local employers together
to help young people between the ages of 16 and 20 years looking for full-time or parttime employment. The Youth Job Fair offers young job seekers the opportunity to speak to a number of different local employers. And the business community can screen a large number of enthusiastic teens and young adults in a short period of time. For additional information or to reserve a free booth for your business, call the Lakewood Youth Center at 562-429-7472 after 3pm. Spring vacation programs planned All eight major parks in Lakewood have special holiday hours and programmed activities planned for Saturday, April 7 through Friday, April 13 for elementary school aged children. Arts and crafts activities and a special play activity are scheduled each day. Additionally, carom boards, tetherball, board games and outdoor balls are available for checkout. The Easter Bunny will visit the parks on Saturday, April 7. Kids should bring their own Easter egg basket or make a decorative bag with staff prior to the Easter Bunny’s visit. The Spring Vacation Activity Schedule is available at city hall, all parks and online at www.lakewoodcity.org. Grandparents Easter party The Weingart Senior Center will hold its annual
Grandparents Easter Party on Thursday, April 5 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. Grandparents and grandchildren 10 years and younger are welcome to join in the free fun. Participants are asked to bring hardboiled eggs for dyeing. Pre-registration is required. To pre-register or for more information, call the Weingart Senior Center office 562-6306141. Family fun in April The annual Daddy/Daughter Date Night is Saturday, April 14 from 6pm to 9pm at The Centre at Sycamore Plaza. The theme is “Enchantment under the Sea.” Dads and daughters ages five and above, will enjoy dinner, dancing, and fun contests. Registration is $18 per person. Registration open until Friday, April 6 or until filled. The next Fun-Tastic Family Night event is Friday, April 27 at 6:30pm at The Centre at Sycamore Plaza. Back by popular demand, the Animal Guys will be bringing their favorite animal friends such as a Fennec Fox, Tawny Owl, a woodchuck, hedgehog and an alligator. For only $7 per person, participants will enjoy a light dinner and familyfriendly show. Register by April 24. For more information or to sign up for these events, call 562-866-9771, extension 2408 or signup through the eCatalog at www.lakewoodcity.org/ recreation.
Don’t let sneaky scams catch you off guard
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that people have to stay on their toes to keep up with the sneaky and creative ways of crooks trying to take advantage of them. New scams are popping up all the time, and it’s important to be aware, alert and assertive so you will not become a victim. Here are current scams to watch out for: • The “Relative in Distress” scam plays on a person’s emotions and sincere desire to help a loved one. This telephone scam might start with a caller who claims a relative of the victim is in trouble and needs help, usually money. Thanks to social networking sites and the Internet, personal details, such as names of peoples’ relatives, can be discovered fairly easily. The caller may say the relative is in jail, in the hospital or stranded in a foreign country, and the money is needed immediately to ensure their safety.
Publication Manager/Graphics Designer Jodee Kilroy Editor-in-Chief Robin Vanderwerff Sales Ruby Cure Published by the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce #24 Lakewood Center Lakewood, CA 90712 P: (562) 531-9733 * F: (562) 531-9737 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org This publication is delivered to homes & businesses in Lakewood, and portions of Long Beach, with a circulation of 30,000. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $20/yr in Orange & L.A. Counties; $25/yr in all other counties. Payable in advance. Contents of the Lakewood Community News (“LCN”) may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without written permission of the Publisher. The Publisher reserves the right to revise, edit, reject or suspend publication of any content germane to any addition without prior notice. The LCN is not responsible nor liable for any claims offering for product availability that may be advertised. SUBMISSION POLICY: The LCN encourages submission of letters to the Editor. Letters must be no more than 200 words, typed and double spaced, or sent electronically. Letters must be signed by the author and must include the author’s address and telephone number. Opinions expressed in the letter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, members, staff or the LCN. The LCN reserves the right to refuse or edit editorial content, without notice, for the reasons of, but not limited to, length, grammar, clarity or for the potentially libelous statements. SPACE RESERVATIONS & AD DEADLINES: The 15th of every preceding month for ads to be designed or current ads requiring changes. The 20th of every preceding month for camera-ready art furnished by advertiser. EDITORIAL DEADLINES: The 10th of every preceding month. (There is no guarantee for insertion.) PHOTOGRAPHS: There is no guarantee of return of photographs. © 2012 Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced or transmitted - by any means - without the publisher’s written permission
Scammers will be very convincing and may encourage the victim not to tell others of the situation to avoid shame or embarrassment for the family. Of course, their real motive is to avoid being discovered by law enforcement. If someone who claims to know a family member who needs financial assistance has contacted you, investigate before sending any money. Then report it to the Lakewood Sheriff’s Department at 562-623-3500. • A “distraction burglary” is just that. A scammer attempts to gain access to your home through a variety of ruses, only to distract you while he (or an unseen partner in crime) burglarizes your home. The key to prevention is to never allow access to your home or yard by anyone you do not know, didn’t summon or whose identity is not clear. Remember, utility workers carry identification badges, typically wear uniforms and almost never approach your door without a prior call for service. Always verify the purpose of a worker’s visit by calling the utility company. Listed below are helpful phone numbers for utilities that serve Lakewood. Similarly, do not allow someone into your home who claims to need help, a drink of water or to use the restroom or the phone. Offer to make the phone call for them or bring a drink of water to the front door, and then close and lock the door behind you. Thieves typically target single occupant homes or elderly residents, but anyone can fall victim when their guard is down. You know what is out of the ordinary for your neighborhood. If you observe individuals knocking on doors or peeping over backyards, contact the Sheriff’s Department. Below is a list of utility companies that serve Lakewood: Lakewood Water Resources Dept. – 562-866-9771, extension 2700 Southern California Edison – 800-655-4555
The Gas Company – 800-4272200 Verizon – 800-483-4000 SBC/AT&T – 800-310-2355 EDCO Disposal – 562-561-3054 Golden State Water Company (for residents east of the San Gabriel River) – 800-999-4033 • Finally, beware of the “Sweetheart Scam,” a crime of persuasion that typically targets older people. It begins with a younger stranger who develops a romantic relationship with an older man or woman, widowed or single. As the relationship continues, the stranger indicates they are in dire financial circumstances. They may tell the victim they are waiting for a large insurance or lawsuit settlement. The stranger might ask for a loan for a business venture or for an expensive medical procedure, promising to pay the money back when they receive their settlement. Over a period of time, the relationship may lead to professions of love and even promises of marriage, in which case the stranger will convince the victim to sign a Power of Attorney or have them named as the major heir in their will. The sweetheart scam continues until the victim runs out of money, succumbs to an illness or the stranger disappears, fearing law enforcement has become involved. Very rarely does the victim call the police. Rather, it’s often the victim’s family that eventually discovers the scam and reports it. The victim may or may not remember every incident in which he or she has been scammed out of money. He or she may also be reluctant to prosecute because he/she is in love, scared or embarrassed. For more information on scams, visit www.nabihq.org. The National Association of Bunco Investigators is an organization designed to protect against the exploitation of seniors.
Business Page 3
Business Financial Page 4
Foggia Italian Market & Deli has a heart for Pathways
Pictured L to R: Councilmember Jeff Wood & Todd Rogers, Vice Mayor Diane DuBois, Mayor Larry Van Nostran, Councilmember Steve Croft and Foggia owner Bob Quarto. All during the month of February, hearts lined the walls, doors, shelves and display
cases at Foggia Italian Market & Deli in Lakewood. Hundreds of patrons purchased hearts in
support of Pathways, and added their name or personal greeting on it before it was displayed in the deli. Pathways is a non-profit volunteer hospice that also provides support services for the frail/elderly, and grief support and counseling for children and families. They are active in our local schools and provide crisis response when traumatic incidents arise. For many in our community, Pathways provides care management and volunteer companions for lonely seniors in need of support. All of Pathways services are provided free of charge. Foggia owners, Bob and Linda Quarto, are long-time supporters of Pathways. “Our customers really got into it,” said Bob Quarto. “They know what good work Pathways does and they may need their help some day.” The deli raised nearly $1,700 for Pathways and plan to do it again next February. “Pathways would like to thank Bob, Linda and the whole crew at Foggia’s” says Cindy Skovgard, Executive Director of Pathways. “We are sometimes the best kept secret in town, but I have a feeling Bob is aiming to change that.” For more information on Pathways programs and services, please visit their website at: www.pathwayshospice.org or call 562-531-3031.
April 2012 Lakewood iconRon Piazza (Cont’d. from Pg. 1)
at McDonalds. Ron has remained an integral part of the community that first gave him his start. “Lakewood is a special community. I’m so proud of Lakewood,” he says, “It’s a dying breed, the people who live and work in their community.” There isn’t a day that goes by that Ron doesn’t drive by his restaurants and realize this is what he loves to do. Lakewood is where he’s made his living for the past 40 years. Ron, along with his wife Nancy, have 5 children and 6 grandchildren. At different times over the years, most of their children have had a hand in working at one of the McDonalds locations. Ron adds another philanthropy project to his list of passions; in December, Ron played a key role in the opening of the new Ronald McDonald House in Long Beach, which provides a temporary residence for families of seriously ill or hospitalized children, adjacent to Millers Children’s Hospital and other nearby medical facilities. Ron says, “It took 6 million dollars to build and will cost 1 million annually to operate, so I will be doing a lot of fundraising.” There is room for 23 kids at the house and they are currently housing 18. Ron suspects they will be at their maximum of 23 children sometime this year. Ron mentioned a big
fundraising event for the Ronald McDonald House Charity on Sunday April 1st. Walk for Kids, is a noncompetitive 5k (3.1 miles) pledge event. (For more information readers can visit www.walkforkids.org.) It’s amazing that Ron has the drive to keep up with all of his interests. He’s President of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California, he’s been involved with the Lakewood YMCA for 35 years, and he’s a member of the Metro Board, the Lakewood Jaycees, the Kiwanis Club, and the Rotary Club. He’s also a member and Past President of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, and was involved in the creation of the Lakewood Community News back in the mid 80’s. He shows his continued support by being an active, long time advertiser. “As long as I have the energy, I will continue doing what I love to do,” Ron says. If there’s any free time, Ron enjoys boating, traveling and gardening with his wife Nancy. “I’m so proud of the fact that I’m giving back to the community,” Ron says. My children, both raised in Lakewood, have followed my traditions and will often walk a few blocks to enjoy a Filet of Fish sandwich or McCafe Latte.
Lakewood’s Shredding Event (Cont’d. from Pg. 1)
A number of freebies will be distributed, including a used oil container, battery box and sharps container, and each vehicle that brings material to shred will, in turn, get a free Shop Lakewood, Stay Lakewood Loyal bag, while supplies last. This event is for Lakewood residents only. Be prepared to show proof of residency, either with a driver’s license or utility bill. For more information, please call EDCO at 562-5313054 or Lakewood City Hall at 562-866-9771, extension 2140. Learn how to protect yourself against credit card and check fraud -- two of the fastest growing crimes in the nation. Discover how to be less vulnerable and what to do if you become a victim. On Tuesday, May 8, from 10am to 11:30am, safety experts will present valuable information on credit card and check fraud at the Weingart Senior Center. On Tuesday, May 15, from 10am to 11:30am, the Weingart Senior Center will hold another free class, entitled Identity Theft: Protecting Your Privacy. To register for one or both of these free classes, call the Lakewood Sheriff’s Community Safety Center at 562-623-3583. Dash transportation is available for registered Lakewood residents by calling 562-920-9701.
Carson and Del Amo are next for ‘Seven Segments’ road projects the thickness of conventional asphalt, the expense of grinding off the existing pavement to maintain an acceptable “crown” is avoided and there will be less disruption to neighborhoods. All American Asphalt, Inc., of Corona, is the construction contractor on the project. Construction costs will be partly funded with $1,694,000 of federal transportation funds. The balance of the construction cost comes from Proposition C and Measure R transportation funds approved by Los Angeles County voters. Crews from All American Asphalt wrapped up curb, gutter and sidewalk repairs in March. Lakewood’s largest road improvement project for 2012, called “Seven Segments,” is rolling on to some of the city’s largest thoroughfares – Carson Street and Del Amo Boulevard. Having wrapped up curb, gutter and sidewalk repair over the project’s five miles of roadways, heavy equipment is now expected to continue its coldmill grinding/repaving work in early April. Carson Street will be repaved from 800 feet west of Nectar Avenue to Pioneer Boulevard, and Del Amo Boulevard will be worked on between Clark Avenue and Studebaker Road. Seven Segments resurfacing work is already completed on portions of Arbor Road, Ashworth Street, Downey Avenue, Palo Verde Avenue and South Street. These segments were chosen based on the age and deterioration of their pavement. As a convenience to drivers, efforts will be made to keep the roads open to two-way traffic throughout the project area. Much of the Carson Street work will be done at night. When possible, Lakewood’s public
works department has planned the work to avoid the busiest commute hours and they are making maximum efforts to keep commercial driveways clear. However, it is very possible that the work will add to traffic. Consider alternate routes to ease your commute. Signs will be posted in areas where upcoming work will require cars to be moved. For questions on the project, call Lakewood city staff at 562-8669771, extension 2500. The streets will be resurfaced with rubberized asphalt. The material reduces skidding and maintains it’s coloring better over time which helps keep highway markings visible longer. Particularly nice for residential drivers, rubberized asphalt provides a noticeably quieter ride for motorists and residents along the way. The effort also keeps thousands of old tires from being dumped in landfills. The material is more durable than traditional asphalt and will save long-term maintenance costs for our city. Since rubberized asphalt requires only one-half
Lakewood resident shares her story
Lakewood resident Dale Ahrend After being lost in the mountains of Mexico some 30 years ago, Lakewood resident Dale Arend, was inspired to write her story. She recently published her book “Follow The River, Lost In The
Mountains Of Mexico.” Ms. Ahrend has been a part of the Lakewood Community for over 20 years, and last August made the decision to start writing down her vivid memories. The story is about a three-day trek that M s . Arend and four of her friends took into the mountains of Mexico, that ended up being, a nine-day journey of survival. Dale”s experience will take the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride, where you will be introduced to the magical and connect with the writers fear, bliss, and her connection with the universe that has stayed with her for years. Dale’s book is available on Amazon.com. Her author name is Dahlia. She encourages anyone that has a story to tell, no matter how old you are, to put it out there.
Advertise in the Lakewood Community News. Call Jodee at (562) 531-9733, or email her at: email@example.com
ChamberNews Page 6
Welcome New Members!
‘Five Guys’ opens their doors on Restaurant Row
Bank of the West 5240 Clark Avenue Lakewood, CA 90712 (562) 925-1211
With their renewal, the following businesses have celebrated another year as members of the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. 31 Years Piazza Family Restaurants 20 Years Friends of Lakewood Libraries 14 Years Melinda McCoy’s Flowers 13 Years Kathy Apples-Prudential CA Realty 11 Years Helen Najar-Re/Max College Park Realty Castlehead Inc. Escrows
5 Years Transcom Telecommunications 2 Years G&A Heating & A/C 1 Year Lakewood Christian Schools
Five Guys Burger and Fries, the newest addition to Lakewood Centers’ Restaurant Row, has
recently opened their doors. It will be the 7th Five Guys for Phil Ratner and Bob Zanolli, former corporate executives with Marie Callenders and Winchell Donuts. Don’t expect a lot of fanfare according to Phil Ratner, “We will quietly open our doors as we give our guests the opportunity to experience what we are known for; service, smiles, and a great food every single day”. Here are a few points of difference that set Five Guys Burgers and Fries apart from the rest: • Your choice of 15 free burger toppings (over 250,000 ways to
order your Burger) • Hand cut fries made in peanut oil • Meat is never frozen and patties are formed in the kitchen for each order • Buns prepared in a local bakery to Five Guys specifications with no preservatives added. • Free peanuts while you wait for our made-to-order food. • No freezers on premise, everything is fresh. • Zagat rated Best Burger in 2011. Online ordering is available. Five Guys Burger and Fries is a part of Lakewood Centers’ Restaurant Row located on Candlewood Blvd.
City of Lakewood Lakewood Center Lakewood Regional Medical Center Piazza McDonald’s Willow Urgent Care/Memorial Healthcare IPA
Gateway Business Bank
Candlewood Smiles Dentistry First City Credit Union Lakewood Dental Arts Lakewood Self Storage
bronze A+ Hearing Aid Center The Boeing Company EDCO Waste & Recycling George Chevrolet Hawaiian Gardens Casino HealthCare Partners
K.E.Y. Design Nguyen Dental NuVision Federal Credit Union Outback Steakhouse Rotary Club of Lakewood Southern California Edison
Mission Statement: The Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce creates a healthy business environment for the community.
Patrick Houston Lakewood Regional Medical Center P.O. Box 6070 Lakewood, CA 90712 562-602-0083 Patrick.Houston@tenethealth.com
Doug Roscoe Lakewood Center 500 Lakewood Center Lakewood, CA 90712 562-633-0437 Fax 562-633-1452 Doug.Roscoe@macerich.com
Larry Kirk F&M Bank 5101 Lakewood Blvd. Lakewood, CA 90712 562-602-8378 Fax 562-633-3012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Hedges Pacific Striping Company 1820 Coronado Avenue Signal Hill, CA 90755 562-429-2562 Fax 562-938-8811 email@example.com
Joy Janes Behavior Safety Associates 5710 Harvey Way Lakewood, CA 90713 562-531-9733 Fax 562-531-9737 Joyjanes@yahoo.com
Cathy Gies Willow Urgent Care/Memorial Healthcare IPA 1100 E. Willow Street Signal Hill, CA 90755 562-981-9500 Fax 562-981-2964 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chi-Chung Keung Long Beach City College 4901 E. Carson Street Long Beach, CA 90808 562-938-4723 Fax 562-938-4651 email@example.com
Mark Perumean EDCO Waste & Recycling Services P.O. Box 398 Buena Park, CA 90621 714-522-3577 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Harvey SCE/Southern CA Edison 2800 E. Willow Street Long Beach, CA 90806 800-655-4555 Fax 562-981-8289 Ben.Harvey@sce.com
A ER L KEW AT
John Kelsall President/CEO Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce 24 Lakewood Center Mall Lakewood, CA 90712 562-531-9733 Fax 562-531-9737 John@lakewoodchamber.com www.lakewoodchamber.com www.lakewoodnews.org
Frank Croes The Boeing Company 2401 E. Wardlow Road Long Beach, CA 90807 562-593-2937 Fax 562-982-6199 Frank.Croes@boeing.com
BE 0 YEARS R OF COM
Officers and Board of Directors
Glen Patrick ~ Chairman Weingart-Lakewood Family YMCA 5835 Carson Street Lakewood, CA 90713 562-425-7431 Fax 562-425-5451
2011-2012 Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce
Advertise in the award winning Lakewood Community News Call Jodee at (562) 5319733 or email: advertise@lakewoodc hamber.com
Can’t pay your taxes? Try these tips by Jason Alderman
If you’re worried you won’t be able to pay your income taxes by this year’s April 17 filing date, don’t panic; but don’t ignore the deadline and certainly don’t wait for the IRS to reach out to you first. Acting quickly not only gives you more repayment options, it can also significantly lower penalties you might owe the government. By not filing your 2011 federal tax return or asking for an extension by April 17, 2012, the penalty on any taxes you owe increases dramatically – usually an additional 5 percent of taxes owed for each full or partial month you’re late, plus interest, up to a maximum penalty of 25 percent. But file your return/ extension on time and the penalty drops tenfold to 0.5 percent. Eventually, the IRS could even place a tax lien on your assets and future earnings. IRS tax repayment alternatives include: • Pay by credit card. You will be charged a small convenience fee that is tax-deductible if you itemize expenses. Just be sure you can pay off your credit card balance within a few months, or the interest accrued might exceed the penalty. • Short-term extension. If you can pay the full amount within 120 days, call the IRS at 800-8291040 and ask whether you qualify for a short-term extension. If granted, you’ll still owe interest but will avoid an application fee. • Installment agreement. If you need longer, an installment agreement will let you pay your bill in monthly installments for up to five years. If you owe $10,000 or less, you’re guaranteed an installment agreement provided you have filed and paid all taxes for the previous five years and haven’t had an installment agreement within that time. If you owe $25,000 or less and are in good standing, you’ll still likely qualify for a streamlined installment agreement; over $25,000 you still may qualify, but may be required to file a detailed Collection Information Statement. There’s a $105 fee to enter an installment agreement. It’s reduced to $52 if you set up a direct debit installment plan (or $43 for low-income filers). For rules and to apply, see the “Online Payment Agreement Application” at www.irs.gov or submit IRS Form 9465. • Offer in Compromise. Under certain dire financial-hardship circumstances, the IRS may allow taxpayers with annual incomes of up to $100,000 to negotiate a reduction in the amount they owe through an Offer in Compromise. To qualify, you must be current with all filing and payment requirements and not in bankruptcy. There is a $150 nonrefundable application fee, which may be waived for low-income applicants. You’ll also be required to submit an initial payment with your application.
Please note: Only a small number of offers in compromise are accepted and you should only pursue one after having exhausted all other payment options. For step-by-step instructions, read the IRS Form 656 Booklet. If you’re unable to make payments on your installment agreement or offer in compromise, call the IRS immediately for alternative payment options, which could include reducing the monthly payment to reflect your current financial condition. The IRS recently announced that for 2011 taxes due April 17, 2011, it will offer a six-month grace period on failure-to-pay penalties for certain taxpayers facing economic hardship. They also doubled the threshold for filing a streamlined installment repayment agreement (where you don’t have to supply a detailed financial statement) from $25,000 in taxes owed to $50,000. Nothing beats staying current
on your taxes, but if you fear you may fall behind, explore these options before the penalties start snowballing.
Tax workshop available A tax workshop is available to help low and moderate income families prepare their taxes. The free tax preparation assistance is intended for household incomes of $50,000 or less. Presented by Jerome E. Horton, Chairman of the California State Board of Equalization, the taxhelp workshop will be held on April 14 at Long Beach City College, 4901 East Carson Street in Long Beach from 10am to 3pm, to make an appointment call 888434-8248. In addition to the free tax preparation, the event will feature agencies to help with issues like getting access to low-cost and free
medical services, job-preparation assistance, food and nutrition service, discount telephone service and low-cost auto insurance. Those interested in having their 2011 tax returns prepared should bring the following items: proof of identification; Social Security cards, including spouse’s and dependents’
(or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration); birth dates, including spouse’s and dependents’; current year’s tax package; wage and earnings statements (W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers); and interest and dividend statements from banks (1099 forms).
"We serve you in your car!" Press Telegram Readers choice award
for Best Lunch Specials in L.B. is almost in Lakewood at 4855 Bellflower Blvd., L.B. (562) 421-7666
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Community Page 8
Spring has sprung: Lakewood’s seasonal rituals begin Spring has officially sprung and many of the community’s seasonal rituals are getting traction. Daylight saving time’s extra hours of sunshine give neighbors more time say hello, or walk Lakewood’s nature trails and fitness routes. See www. lakewoodcity.org/parkfinder and www.lakewoodcity.org/ trailfinder. Also, a new recreation season is just underway and signups are ongoing at www. lakewoodcity.org/catalog.
Other Lakewood residents are spending more time in the yard or on the patio. Thoughts of “house projects” are taking center stage just as the Lakewood Beautiful Home Awards nomination season kicks off. Each year over 100 homes that reflect a special “pride of ownership” through property upkeep, landscaping and overall general appearance are recognized. Nominations are open through June 29
at www.lakewoodcity.org/ beautifulhome. This will be the second year that Lakewood Beautiful features an additional “WaterWise” award category honoring homeowners who have made a concerted effort to reduce water usage through updated irrigation devices and waterwise landscaping. Two free educational programs can help would-be “green thumbs” make water-wise plans. The county offers dozens of free “Smart Gardening” workshops on ways to get a great looking yard while using less water and energy and wasting fewer resources. A beginning workshop will be held in Long Beach – on Saturday, April 7, from 9:30am to 11am at Birney Elementary School at 710 W Spring Street. See www.lakewoodcity.org/ smartgardener.
Close to home, the Lakewoodbased Water Replenishment District (WRD) offers several free water-wise “Eco-gardener” classes to help residents save water and improve their gardens. Students will become familiar with irrigation basics, best horticultural practices, drought tolerant native plants and garden design concepts. See www. ecogardener.org, or call 562-2754234, or e-mail Pam Wareham at email@example.com. Both programs are ideal ways for homeowners to learn how to improve their yards or learn
water-wise basics they can use to consider applying for the city’s recently increased water conservation rebates. New, larger rebates—up to $915—are offered for water-wise irrigation and turf removal. See www. lakewoodcity.org/WaterRebates, Rebates cover everything from simple projects installing water-saving tools like “rotor” sprinkler heads, drip irrigation kits and hose-end timers to full landscape makeovers. The passing of the vernal (spring) equinox also brings an uptick in calls for Lakewood’s free “Dial A Dump” service as spring cleaners kick into gear. The bulky item program’s free pickups are a convenient way to dispose of household items like old mattresses, water heaters, sofas and chairs. And, it offers a listing of agencies willing to give items second life as a beneficial donation. See www. lakewoodcity.org/dialadump, or call 562-531-3054.
Shop Lakewood Page 9
Shop Lakewood Page 10
Consumer Reports’ top five retailers Check out the new are a Lakewood who’s-who YMCA kids yoga class Lakewood shoppers don’t have to leave town to get great values. National retailers who bagged the top five scores for overall satisfaction in Consumer Reports have stores in town. Consumer Reports National Research Center subscribers told about 55,108 shopping experiences at ten major American retailers. They also noted online experiences, as reported in the magazine’s March 2012 edition. Costco won the top marks for both walk-in and online shopping experiences for both value and quality of merchandise – followed by Kohl’s, JCPenny, Target and Macy’s. The Consumer Reports survey included more than 26,000 readers. Whether your favorite shopping choice is the 166,000
square foot Costco at Lakewood Center, or the 80,000 square foot Kohl’s on Carson Street at Paramount Boulevard -- both are a short drive for residents. Easy access also goes for other mall stores like the two-story Target, JCPenny with its special Paris-based cosmetics retailer Sephora, and the long-standing, three-story Macy’s department store. “We hope the report reminds Lakewood residents that there’s great value shopping right here in their backyard. You don’t have to leave Lakewood to get a deal and get good service.” said John Kelsall of the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. Kelsall makes the case that every purchase made at a Lakewood business, restaurant, gas station or movie theater comes back home as sales tax
dollars to pay for Sheriff’s patrols, parks, road repaving and youth programs. “Shop Lakewood – Stay Lakewood Loyal is a choice. Put your money where your house is and directly impact your community in a good way.”
Lakewood YMCA’s new Saturday morning Yoga for Kids Class has started.
The young YMCA members had fun learning the Butterfly Pose and making drawings. They also learned that the practice of Yoga helps to bring a sense of calm through focused breath and dynamic, exciting postures. They became trees by balancing on one leg and enjoyed what their little forest looked like. They also became beautiful butterflies and fluttered their way through the world. They concluded with a relaxation pose and imagined a warm sun glowing in their bellies. Each week they will learn new poses. For more information, please contact Beth Freeman 562-425-7431.
Give blood at Sheriff’s Community Safety Center
The Lakewood Sheriff’s Community Safety Center, in cooperation with the American Red Cross, is holding a “Battle of the Badges” blood drive on Friday, April 6, from 12 noon to 6pm. The safety center is inside the Target wing of Lakewood Center. Walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can be made easily online at www.redcrossblood.org, or at 800-448-3543. Donations take about an hour. Participants are encouraged to drink plenty of water, eat a nutritious meal before donating, and bring a photo ID to the event. If you are unable to make the scheduled event, you can easily find local blood drives using search tools at the Red Cross website. Additional information on donations and volunteer opportunities is available at www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood and www. redcrossblood.org/volunteer.
Wienerschnitzel celebrates grand re-opening
Wienerschnitzel’s busiest shop in the nation for January 2012 recently celebrated a grand re-opening at their new Lakewood location. After 35 years further up Woodruff, the owner has launched the new digs closer to the major intersection at Woodruff Avenue and Carson Street.
The ancient ritual of Thai massage comes to Lakewood
Thai massage is actually as old as Buddha and has been practiced in Thailand for some 2500 years. The massage technique has been described as a unique blend of acupressure, reflexology, and yoga type stretches. The ancient ritual seems to fit right into the modernized Western worlds need for an interaction of mind, body and spirit. The concept is to use passive stretching and gentle pressure along the body’s energy lines to increase flexibility, receive muscle and joint tension to balance the body’s energy system. Lakewood is now home to the new S.N. Thai Massage and Spa, where you can experience many types of massages to meet an individual’s specific needs. They are committed to restoring balance back to the body. Their goal is to help the customer feel relaxed, revitalized and rejuvenated. S.N. Thai Massage and Spa is located at 11421 E. Carson St. Suite N, in Lakewood. For more information, or to make an appointment, call (562) 865-9000.
GO GREEN ... at Lakewood Car Wash New owner believes what’s good for Business is good for the Environment
Getting your car washed can be more environmentally friendly than you think! Lakewood Car Wash & Detail Center, recently remodeled with state of the art equipment and new technology enjoyed a successful grand opening in September 2011. Lakewood Car Wash now makes it easier for customers to Go Green and protect the environment. Lakewood Car Wash, located at 5730 Lakewood Boulevard, uses a new 21st century technology that reclaims, recycles and reduces water usage. That water is discharged into storage tanks, filtered, treated and recycled. This process has qualified Lakewood Car Wash to become a member of the International Car Wash Association’s Water Savers™ Program. “We also felt from a business standpoint, that customers in the City of Lakewood would enjoy multiple car washing options you can’t get in any other local car wash. Lakewood Car Wash now has an Express Exterior wash option that allows customers to get a clean car in less than 5 minutes that dries spot free with FREE Vacuums, starting at $5.99. We consulted with one of the industries leading consultants, Paul Dadgar of Irvine Advisory Group, LLC to help create this new Express Exterior, giving our customers an option previously not available to them,” said co-owner Alex Shakouri. “We wanted the new concept to fit conveniently with today’s busy life styles. Additionally, we made a significant investment to provide our customers a gentle wash process that is user friendly, vehicle friendly and environmentally friendly. Lakewood Car Wash also provides a full line of Professional Full Service and Detail services to customers.” While you might think washing your car outside in your driveway is a fun activity, it’s actually one of the most environmentally unfriendly chores you can do. You will typically use up to
140 gallons of water to get the job done. After the soapy water combines with the grease and oils on your driveway, it then runs straight into the storm drains without being treated in a sewage center. Then the untreated water goes straight to the ocean! “Lakewood Car Wash uses about 12 gallons of fresh water per car when it’s all said and done,” Shakouri said. Lakewood Car Wash also has the ability to recycle and reuse water. Thereafter water will be sewage treated, not dumped. They also use environmentally safe, biodegradable products made in the USA by the industries most trusted manufacturers3. Do you have a fundraiser coming up? Want to make it both financially rewarding and eco-friendly? “We will work hand in hand with non-profits, schools and churches offering fundraising programs,” Shakouri said. For more information visit www.lakewoodcarwash.com.
Hazardous waste collection event Lakewood spring cleaners should plan for a household waste collection event Saturday, April 21, from 9am to 3pm in nearby South Gate. The drop-off event is just off the 710 Freeway at South Gate Park--only 10 miles from Lakewood near the Imperial Highway exit. The convenient drivethrough event takes only a few minutes. Participants often don’t even have to get out of their car. The free program is an environmentally and legally safe way to get rid of many common household products that pose a hazard to people and the environment if disposed of improperly. Events are held near Lakewood several times a year. For full schedule go to http://dpw.lacounty.gov and look for the green “Household Hazardous Waste” button or go to http://www.lacsd.org. The closest year-round drop-off center is located in San Pedro. Visit www.lakewoodcity.org/ specialtrash for additional information.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
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Save the Date! Lakewood Chamber’s
15th Annual Summer Stampede Car Show
Sunday, August 19th 9am-2pm Mayfair Park “A Salute to our Military & Veterans, Show Your Colors.” This is a show you won’t want to miss! Interested Vendors can call/email us at: (562) 531-9733 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Long Beach Turtle & Tortoise Care Society
17th Annual Turtle & Tortoise Care Expo on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at El Dorado Community Center, located at 2800 N. Studebaker Rd. in Long Beach, 90815. Show is from 10am4pm. Donations accepted at the door. They will have live animals on display and can help with questions and care on tortoises. Bring your family for a day of good fun & education. Call (714) 523-2824 or go to tortoise.org for more information.
Become familiar with these five key areas
“Fitness 4 All” presents 1st Annual Bunny Hop 5k/10k Run/Walk
Submitted by Marjorie Anderson, Edward Jones ~ Lakewood As an investor, what are your goals? You can probably think of quite a few — but over the course of your lifetime, your objectives typically will fall into five key categories. And once you’re familiar with these areas, you can start thinking of what they’ll mean to you in terms of your financial and investment strategies. So, let’s take a look at each of these areas and see what they might entail for you: • Preparing for retirement — With advances in health care and a greater awareness of healthy living practices, many of us can expect to live two or three decades in an active retirement. To pay for all those years, you’ll need to save and invest early and often. So, while you’re working, take full advantage of your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, as well as contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA. After understanding your desired retirement lifestyle, your financial advisor can help you determine how, and how much, to save to provide for your income in retirement. • Planning for the unexpected — You can’t see into the future, so you’ll need to prepare for anything that comes your way. By building an emergency fund containing six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses, you can possibly avoid dipping into your long-term investments to pay for things such as a new furnace or a major car repair. And planning for the unexpected also means having sufficient life insurance to provide for your family in case anything happens to you. • Educating your children — College is already expensive — and college expenses have been rising faster than the overall rate of inflation. If you want to help your children, or grandchildren, pay for school, you may want to invest in a college savings vehicle, such as the 529 plan. You can contribute large amounts to a 529 plan, and earnings have the opportunity to grow tax-free, provided withdrawals are used for higher education. (Withdrawals not used for education are subject to income taxes and a 10 percent penalty.) • Living in retirement — Once you reach retirement, your investment emphasis will shift somewhat, from accumulating resources to making them last. By working with a financial advisor, you can develop a withdrawal strategy that can help make sure you don’t outlive the income you receive from your 401(k), IRA and other sources. At the same time, given the possible length of your retirement, you can’t ignore the need to invest for growth, so you may need to consider some
growth-oriented vehicles in your portfolio to help your income keep pace with inflation. • Transferring your wealth — When you’ve worked hard your whole life, you want to be able to leave a legacy — one that allows you to provide financial resources to the next generation and to those charitable organizations you may wish to support. So, when it’s time to think about transferring your wealth, you’ll want to consult with your financial and legal advisors to create an estate plan that’s appropriate for your needs. And because these plans can take significant time to create, you won’t want to wait too long to start. So, there you have them: five key financial areas on which to focus as you travel through life. By doing your homework, planning ahead and getting the help you need, you can make the journey a pleasant and productive one.
Ants * Fleas * Bees Rats * Termites * Bed Bugs ...and more!
Benjamin Campos, resident of Lakewood, is challenging Linda Sanchez for the new 38th U.S. Congressional seat. Campos states, “I know that bigger government leads to the redistribution of wealth, higher taxes and slower growth. All we have to do is look at what happened in the 30’s. There was government program after government program and still the economy did not grow. You would think that common sense would prevail but sadly the solution was more spending and higher taxes. Sound familiar? Well, that’s because history is repeating itself. I honorably served this country before as a soldier and now it would be my honor to serve again as your congressman. On June 5th, vote Benjamin Campos for congress.” (Please see my website www. benjamincampos.com.)
A great event for the whole family. Join the “Fitness 4 All” 1st Annual Bunny Hop 5k/10 Run/Walk on Saturday, April 7th. “Fitness 4 All” is a non-profit organization that brings fitness to those in need, in downtown Long Beach and the surrounding areas, including domestic violence shelters and youth programs. For more information, email email@example.com or call Larry Rosenwinkel (Program Director) at (562) 481-2995. For official sign ups go to http://www.active.com/10k-race/long-beach-ca/1st-annualbunny-hop-5k-10k-run-walk-2012.
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Detoxification made easy by Dr. Mary Tobin for Studio Cie Wellness Spa
Have you heard that detoxification is important, but have no idea how or why? First, let’s discuss why.
Physical symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, swelling, headaches, rashes and body pains can all be the result of toxins hanging out in your body. When your detox organs are overwhelmed, your entire system struggles to function at its best. Consequently your health suffers and you lose your strength, energy and vitality. Reducing toxins coming in is a great beginning. Examine the foods you eat. Read labels
for non-food ingredients such as high fructose corn sweetener or partially hydrogenated oils. Avoid foods containing words such as “artificial” or chemicals you can’t pronounce. How can your body get nourishment from “food” that can sit for weeks on the shelves? These “dead” foods lack the vital energy needed to completely nourish your body. I advise my clients to “shop around the outside of the store” for fresh fruits, vegetables and avoid the center isles filled with shelves of boxes, bottles, and cans. Most importantly: “just say no” to fast food and ALL soda. Avoid both the sugary and the artificially sweetened types. Instead, drink plenty of good quality water – ionized if possible. Water is necessary for any detoxification activity. Drink a minimum of half your body weight in ounces per day.
If you weigh 160lbs you need 80 ounces (10 glasses) of water per day. Adding a squeeze from a fresh lemon is helpful. Drink your water at room temperature or warmer, instead of ice cold. Add a pinch of good quality “pink” non-processed or heattreated salt to provide necessary minerals and energize your water. Suffer from constipation? A salt flush, often called the “25 cent colonic” is a great solution whether at home or traveling. Simply add salt to warm water. Shake and drink. Within the hour you should begin to “flush”. Do you have gallbladder problems or gallstones? If so, pain is commonly felt just under the rib on your right side. Eating greasy foods and stress can make it worse. The pain can become so intense that surgery to remove the gallbladder is frequently the unfortunate result. To prevent the need for surgical intervention, try a liver,
gallbladder flush. It is fairly complicated, so I recommend doing it only after consulting with a qualified health care professional. Coffee enemas, however, are safe, easy and provide extremely effective detoxification for your liver and colon. “Castor Oil Packs” can be placed on your abdominal or kidney area to stimulate the organs and help eliminate cysts and congestion. “Oil Pulling” accomplished by swishing organic oil between your teeth daily, is effective for removing toxins from your teeth and gums. Whichever method you choose, keeping your body free from toxins is the best insurance you have for living a long, healthy, vibrant life. Studio Cie Wellness Spa with Tobin Acupuncture & Anti- Aging For additional information, go to www.TobinWellness.com or www. studiociewellnessspa.com.
Tell us what you would like to read in the Email your ideas to: news@lakewoodchamber. com, or mail it to: PO Box 160, Lakewood, CA 90714.
Community April 2012
Teach your children well by Carrie Stein
April 22nd will mark the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. Gaylor Nelson is the founder of Earth Day. After Nelson witnessed a major oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969, he was inspired by the energy formed by the anti war movement. Nelson realized that he could steer that same energy towards an environmental movement. His vision was accurate, and as a result, on April 20, 1970 millions of Americans observed the first Earth Day. In 1990 Earth Day became global, and in the year 2000, Earth day emphasized the effects of global warming on the world. The children of today are the future of our nation. A threeyear-old toddler’s brain is twice as active as an adult; it is often referred to as a “super sponge.” They soak up the behavior of their family members, teachers, friends and communities, everything, the good and the bad. It’s up to the adults to teach them wisely about how to respect and cherish their environment. Why not take advantage of this crucial time for brain development by teaching your child that everyday is Earth Day. Live your life as an example of what it means to live a green lifestyle for a lifetime. Here are a few suggestions to implement throughout their lives starting at the age of three: • Teach children the importance of recycling. Let them help sort the recyclable items. Sorting is an early math skill. Let them observe you donating your old clothes (and theirs) to Goodwill or shelters. Have them choose a couple of their old toys to give to underprivileged children • Explain to kids how we are responsible for everyone on earth. We are part of a team that is working together to build a healthier place to live. • Teach children about conserving water. Take shorter showers, turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Water plants with water that has been left in water bottles. Use bottles that can be filled with water instead of buying cases of water. Take your children to the beach, wade in the tide pools, and show them how magical the ocean is. Volunteer for a beach clean up. • Shop at your local farmer’s market. Teach them that eating organic fruits and vegetables is good for the air, water and soil,
because toxic pesticides are not used for them to grow. • Pack their lunches in recyclable containers. Stress the importance of too much waste. Use cloth napkins instead of paper. Let them choose a recyclable lunch bag that they will love. Have them help gather your bags for
the market before you go. This is a great opportunity for a counting game. Buy as much as you can in bulk. Buy only what you need, less is more! There are so many habits you and your child can change everyday to ensure a greener, healthier planet. They are not too small or too young, they are the future. It is their Earth. Below is a list of books and DVD’s to share with your children: Books The Lorax by Dr. Seuss The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Dear Children of The Earth by Schim Schimmel DVD’s Life-The Discovery Channel Planet Earth-The Discovery Channel March of the Penguins-Warner Brothers
Cerritos College launches online career search tool Career coach helps students and community members find jobs and careers
Cerritos College has launched Career Coach, a free online tool that allows students and community members to explore career opportunities and industry information by visiting the college’s website and clicking on the Career Coach button in the center column. Through a simple keyword search, students and any visitor to the college’s website can learn about the employment prospects of careers they want to research. The real-time information is customized to the
college’s region and includes detailed wage estimates and upto-date job postings associated with any career. Users can also explore the college’s programs when searching for specific jobs. In addition, Career Coach includes a built-in resume builder to help students and jobseekers quickly and efficiently put together an updated resume with key skills and job experience highlighted. Career Coach is available to the public and does not require a user name or password. For more information or to request assistance in using Career Coach, contact the Cerritos College Academic Affairs at http://cms.cerritos.edu/ academic-affairs/contact-us. htm.
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Boost your brain health by socializing It’s always good to have a variety of social activities in your life. Did you know that getting together with friends, going to the movies, having someone over for dinner or simply enjoying conversations with other people, all add up to improved health benefits? Socializing can be a challenge for people who live alone and no longer drive or have health issues that limit their ability to get out of the house. Still, there are many ways to include people in your life so loneliness doesn’t set in. When you live alone you feel alone and non-socialization can affect your mind and body. Many people enjoy spending some time alone but after a while an isolated, stay-at-home lifestyle can lead to depression and declining health as the musculoskeletal system declines. To have a healthy aging life,
exercise, eat right and socialize! A new study found that older adults who stay connected socially are more likely to retain their memories and cognitive abilities later in life. The takehome message from the recently published study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior is that we need a variety of brain
stimulation, including social activity, to keep our minds sharp. This is especially true later in life, when aging takes its toll on memory and other complex neurological processes. Researchers analyzed data over several years of 1,667 adults who were 60 years old and older. They looked at the likelihood
of participants engaging in social activities with friends and family, joining clubs, and going to social engagements. The study also examined cognitive ability, memory acuity as people socialized more often. While we often feel better after a good visit with family or friends, this study concluded that we might actually be improving our health with social activities. Older adults who were less socially active than who were socially active had both cognitive and physical limitations. The results are stunning; the socially active group had healthier brain scans, and seemed to be better protected from aging over time. As scientists gain ground in unlocking the mysteries of aging and neurology, we understand that we have some control over our cognitive and physical health. So eat well, exercise and your
April 2012 health will benefit. But you should also socialize. By doing so you will not only enjoy the company of people around you, you will keep your brain stimulated. Mark Underwood is a neuroscience researcher, president and co-founder of Quincy Bioscience, a biotech company located in Madison, Wisconsin focused on the discovery and development of medicines to treat age related memory loss and the diseases of aging.
Do you get “phantom” text messages? by Dr. Larry Omo, D.C.
Technology can be wonderful. But, it can also cause problems. Technology has given us life-saving medical procedures and lifeending nuclear weapons. Clearly, it’s all about how technology is used, which brings us to the immensely popular smart phones. Smart phones can make your life easier and more enjoyable. Text messaging and email keep us in touch. But, is there a downside to all this constant connection? Techworld reports that stress levels in smart phone users can become so pronounced that some people start experiencing “phantom vibrations” of non-existent text messages. “University of Worcester Psychologist, Richard Balding, conducted psychometric tests on 100 employed and student volunteers, finding that those who checked their smart phones often were more likely to experience emotional stress. “This was particularly true when the phones were being used in a work context, with users feeling pressure to check for messages in order to keep abreast of workflow. “At its worst, as stress levels rose, workers would check their phones more often, creating a negative cycle in which a few even started believing that their phones were receiving alerts when no such alerts existed.” With smart phones, the distinction between work and private time has all but disappeared. For many people, there is no more leaving work, work is always wherever you go...and so is the stress. Dr. Larry Omo, D.C. is a doctor of chiropractic specializing in neck and back pain relief care for 30 years in Lakewood. His office is located at 5220 Clark Ave. #210 and he can be reached at 562-867-0993.
Dear EarthTalk: Can you fill me in on what the “Just Label It” campaign is and what it is trying to accomplish? ~ Eric Altieri
600,000 people have sent along comments to the FDA due to the campaign’s outreach efforts. Just Label It aims to get that number to one million by the end of spring 2012. Campaign organizers are hoping that this outpouring of support will resonate with FDA regulators when it comes time for them to decide whether or not
Consumers can make their opinions on the topic heard by FDA regulators by customizing and submitting the form letter available at the JustLabelIt. org home page. To date some
Just Label It is an effort spearheaded by organic farmers and food producers, consumer and public health advocates and environmentalists to persuade the federal government to require that foods with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients be labeled accordingly. Consumers have a right, they believe, to be able to make informed choices about which foods they put into their bodies and support with their pocketbooks. Most Americans aren’t aware that some 80 percent of processed foods at grocery stores contain GE (also known as “genetically modified,” or GM) ingredients—yet in polls 93 percent of us support the notion of mandatory labeling of such foods. At present, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require labels for foods with GE ingredients. Proponents of Just Label It worry that genetically engineered plants (and animals) could wreak havoc on human health and natural ecosystems, given how little we know about them and their ability to proliferate beyond our control. Among the concerns: There has been no long-term health safety testing on GE ingredients because they are so new; unexpected mutations can occur which can introduce unknown toxins into the food supply; the increasing use of herbicide-resistant genes in crops is leading to the overuse of herbicides in general; and the planting of GE crops that are programmed to generate their own pesticides means that more pesticides are in our farms and fields than ever before. Perhaps most worrisome of all is that, unlike chemical pollution or even nuclear contamination, socalled “genetic pollution” (as some critics refer to GE) cannot be cleaned up after the fact once the proverbial genie is out of the bottle. The first order of business for the “Just Label It” campaign was to submit a legal petition— written by attorneys at the nonprofit Center for Food Safety— to the FDA in September 2011 calling for the mandatory labeling of GE foods for sale in the United States. At this point, FDA is taking public comments on the petition and will issue a final ruling on it later in 2012.
the U.S. should join almost 50 other countries--including South Korea, Brazil, China, and the European Union—in requiring GE labeling across the board. EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com).
Bunnies are cuddly, the large & the small. But I like the chocolate ones, best of them all.
with Robin Vanderwerff www.lakewoodchamber.com
Around Town in April Lakewood
• Financial Peace University is a 13-week course taught by Dave Ramsey on DVD. FPU teaches families and individuals commonsense principles like how to make a plan with their money, in order to be free of debt. The classes will begin Thursday, April 12 at 6pm at The Journey at Mayfair Church located at 6150 Bellflower Blvd. For more information call Timothy VanderBaan at (562) 867-3198. • The George Nye Jr. Library and the Friends of the Lakewood Libraries will host “Reading with Dogs” at the Nye Library, 6600 Del Amo Blvd. on Friday, April 13 from 4-5pm. Children can sit and read aloud with the Bark Therapy Dogs and their handlers. For more information, contact Carol Burke at (562) 421-8497. • As part of Tumaini International’s
SoCal Walk for kids on April 28 from 10-1, Parkcrest Church located at 6236 Woodruff Ave, is hosting a live giraffe. There is a 1 mile walk, fun activity booths to learn more about Africa and Kenya. For more information call (714) 671-3907 for visit www. tumainiinternational.org. • The Lakewood Women’s Club will meet April 17 in Ballroom B at the Centre of Sycamore Plaza at 10:30am with meeting at 11am, lunch at 12noon. For reservations call Arlene at (562) 863-4933 by April 10. The program will be hosted by the Garden Groomers section with a flower show by club members. • Carol Otters, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Lakewood, is hosting a free 60 minute educational seminar titled, “Finding Balance in Your Budget,” at 7pm April 18 at Gateway
Business Bank Community Room. The seminar is free, but space is limited. To make a reservation call (562) 804-7994. • “Good Doc, Bad Doc,” a skit for hard of hearing folks going to the hospital will be presented to the Hearing Loss Association on Thursday, April 12, 7pm at the Weingart Center. No reservations are necessary and admission is free. For more information, call (562) 438-0597 or visit www. hlalongbeachlakewood.org. • American Red Cross Blood Drive at Lakewood Country Club on Wednesday, April 4. Please support the community blood supply by donating. Make an appointment by calling 1-800733-2767. Donors can contact Lakewood Country Club directly at (562) 421-0550 x22. • The community is invited to visit the local chapter of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). Where the first meeting is always free. They take pride in providing the tools and supporting members on their weight-loss journey. TOPS are a non-profit weight loss organization and the dues are very low. For more information contact Margaret (562)788-7919. They meet every Thursday at Mae Boyer Park just off of Del Amo Blvd and Palo Verde. Our weighin time is at 6pm and the meeting lasts 1 hour from 6:30 - 7:30pm.
Happy Earth Day! April 22nd
Thanks to our MARCH
- Outback Steakhouse - Foggia’s Italian Market & Deli - Souplantation
Congratulations to Rick Stoglie, Bryan Laney, and Marie Pletka! They are the lucky winners of the March Sudoku. Out of the 144 correct entries, they won a meal. Rick Stoglie, will enjoy Outback Steakhouse, Bryan Laney, Foggia Italian Market and Deli and Marie Pletka will enjoy The Souplantation. What are you waiting for? Pick up your pencil and put your brain to work! To be eligible, print your name, address and phone number on a letter size (8 ½ x 11) piece of paper, tape the puzzle cut out from the newspaper with all the answer boxes completed onto the paper.Mail entries to: Lakewood Community News P.O. Box 160, Lakewood, CA 90714. Or drop it by the Chamber office at 24 Lakewood Center Mall (right next to Sees Candies) The winners are drawn by random, so if you’ve been a previous winner, continue to play, you just might win again. One entry per household; the answers must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, April 18, 2012. The winners will be drawn Thursday the 19th; the call to the winners will be made the same day. If a message is left, the prize must be claimed by return phone call within 48 hours (business days) or a new winner will be chosen. The name of the winners will be published in the April issue, along with a new Sudoku Puzzle.
Pan American Fiesta Mark your calendar! Lakewood families are already looking forward to three days of food, fun and entertainment at the 66th Annual Pan American Fiesta at Mayfair Park. The fiesta begins Friday, May 11 and continues through Sunday, May 13. The city and the Pan American Association sponsor this long-time Lakewood tradition. The fiesta features carnival rides throughout, free entertainment, craft sales and food booths, and free cultural activities for children.
Spring-clean the outdoors Spring is the perfect time to prepare for warm weather fun your pool for safe family fun
If the warmer temperatures, bright sunshine and the blooming flowers of spring give you the urge to clean, you’ll be glad you made the effort. If you want to make outdoor spring-cleaning easier, a little planning will save lots of elbow grease. Make outdoor spring-cleaning a breeze with these simple tips: • Get the grill ready - Barbecues and picnics are as much a part of summer as baseball and trips to the beach. Your grill is central to the fun when you’re cooking and dining outdoors, so get it ready with a good cleaning. If you were diligent about cleaning the grill after every use last year, a good cleaning with a wire brush may be all the cooking grates need. If your grates have a lot of build-up and burnt-on food, remove and soak them in warm soapy water to loosen the debris. Use a wire brush and a little soapy water to clean out the inside surfaces of your grill, including the inside of the lid. Check the hose connection for the propane tank and repair or replace it if needed. • Clean outdoor surfaces without scrubbing - Over time, wood and composite decks, concrete, railings, awnings and outdoor furniture can accumulate mold, moss, mildew and dirt. An environmentally-sensitive mold and mildew cleaner will gently remove outdoor stains on any exterior surface without scrubbing. Use a multi-surface outdoor cleaner that is designed for use around landscaping plants. • Spruce up your view - Clean windows not only brighten the interior of your home, they can make the exterior look fresher, too. Spring is a great time to remove screens and give them a good cleaning. Hosing them off should do the trick, but if they’re really dirty try cleaning with a little soapy water and a soft scrub brush. Before you replace the screens, clean the windows. Arm yourself with lots of paper towels and a good glass cleaner. One that contains vinegar will be effective and eco-friendly if you’re concerned about exposing your landscaping to harsh chemicals. Be sure to clean the outside of your windows first. • Taking care of your tools Yard work and gardening are realities of warm weather. All your landscaping maintenance chores will be easier if your
tools are clean and in good shape. Unload the tool shed or garage of all the equipment you’ll use this summer - from rakes and hoes to lawn mowers and trimmers. Clean any rust spots and dirt from metal tools, and use a coating of mineral oil to ensure the rust doesn’t return. Clean lawn mower and trimmer blades, and replace the line on string trimmers. Get blades sharpened if necessary, and run through all the maintenance tasks recommended in the manufacturer’s handbook for your power equipment. Now that the backyard is cleaned, you’re ready to relax outdoors with a refreshing glass of ice tea, and enjoy the beauty of springtime.
As the weather gets warmer, you can’t help but stare at your backyard pool, anxious to begin a new season of memories with friends and family. No matter the season, pool safety should always be top of mind where children are concerned. With safety barriers or layers of protection - in place between the home and the pool, you can experience the pleasures of backyard swimming pools and feel confident that children, grandchildren and visitors will be safeguarded from pool accidents. It’s impossible to watch your children every second of every day. There are times when a parent or caregiver is distracted by answering the phone or door, household tasks or checking email. Unfortunately, accidents tend to happen very quickly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 14. The CDC reports that in most cases, the children involved were out of their parents’ sight for less than five minutes. Numerous studies have shown that an isolation fence separating the home from the pool can prevent 50 to 90 percent of all toddler drownings. Liability can also become an issue if a visitor is injured.
If you have a pool, you have a responsibility to safeguard it. There is no substitute for vigilant supervision. But there are additional steps you can and should take to keep everyone safe - including these: • Never prop a gate open for convenience or during pool parties. It’s simply not worth the risk. • Always ensure that doors from the home are locked, alarmed, or fitted with child-safety latching devices.
• Ensure children in the home learn how to swim, and that adults know CPR. CPR can make the difference between full recovery and brain damage or death. If anyone else will be supervising kids in the pool, make sure they learn it, too. Impress upon babysitters that they must follow your safety rules. • When children are in the pool, designate a “water watcher” to maintain uninterrupted supervision of children in the pool at all times. • When not in use, keep toys and other objects out of the pool area, and don’t use chlorine dispensers that look like animals or toys that will attract children. By following some pool safety precautions, you can give your family great memories that will last a lifetime!