- Terelle Jerricks
Red Cross Shelter Closes, Palos Verdes Inn Fire Victims Wonder
SAN PEDRO — On Jan. 28, the American Red Cross shelter, which took in evacuees of the Jan. 22 Palos Verdes Inn fire, closed.
The shelter, provided at the Anderson Memorial Senior Center, fed displaced residents and helped them search for temporary housing.
The fire broke out at about 3:30 a.m. Jan. 22, on the corner of 10th and Palos Verdes streets. Investigators have confirmed that the fire was arson. A 69-year-old man died as a result of burns.
Lauer Reports Harbor Area Crimes are the Lowest of this Decade
Neighbors Help LBPD Make Two Arrests
LONG BEACH — Two arrests were made on Jan. 24, at about 1:36 p.m., near the 6600 block of Seaside Walk in Long Beach regarding reports of a residential burglary.
When the victim returned home, he spotted a suspect fleeing and called 9-1-1. Neighbors saw the suspects running through the Peninsula neighborhood and provided additional information to police. Officers subsequently detained and arrested two juvenile residents of Long Beach.
Further investigation revealed the suspect entered the residence through a window, which was left slightly open, and removed valuables. Property was recovered and returned to the victim
Residential burglaries were up 19 percent in 2012 compared to 2011.
The Long Beach Police Department would like to remind residents to be vigilant in preventing crime by following the safety tips:
- Meet your neighbors and participate in Community Watch – This makes it easier to recognize a person that doesn’t belong. Neighbors who communicate are more likely to look out for one another.
- Always report suspicious persons or activity immediately by calling Long Beach Police Dispatch at 9-1-1 or (562) 435-6711.
- Report loiterers – Loitering is often a precursor activity for burglars, enabling them to case the area.
- Keep any gates to backyards locked and secure at all times.
- Keep porch lights on at night.
- Be sure your house number is visible from the street – Should police or emergency personnel need to respond to your location, it allows them to find the location more quickly.
- Record serial numbers and photograph valuables to aid in claiming stolen property.
- Consider installing surveillance cameras to deter suspicious activity in your alley.
- When away for extended periods, make sure your home has the “lived in” look – Have lights on timers and ask a neighbor to clear any newspapers and fliers that may accumulate.
- Request a free “vacation check” by contacting the Senior Police Partner volunteers at (562) 570-7212.
Reps. Introduce New Assault Weapons Ban
WASHINGTON, DC – On Jan. 29, Reps. Janice Hahn, Carolyn McCarthy of New York and Ed Perlmutter of Colorado introduced a new assault weapons ban in the House of Representatives.
The legislation bans the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of more than 100 specifically named fire arms, ban magazines that can carry more than 10 cartridges and eliminates the 10-year sunset that allowed the original ban to expire.
LONG BEACH — A pedestrian was killed in a traffic collision at about 7 p.m. Jan. 25, near 7th Street and Pepper Tree Lane in Long Beach.
The Long Beach Police Department found the man lying on the roadway when they arrived. The Long Beach Fire Department pronounced the man dead on the scene.
Further investigation revealed the pedestrian was walking west on the south sidewalk of 7th Street west of Pepper Tree Lane when he stepped off the curb and into the number three lane of eastbound traffic of 7th Street.
The victim was only identified as a 59-year-old resident of San Pedro pending notification of next of kin.
A 2013 Range Rover driven by a 62-year-old struck him resident of Long Beach. Detectives determined the driver of the Range Rover did not have enough time to stop prior to colliding with the pedestrian. He stayed at the scene and cooperated with the investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call at (562) 570-7355. Or www.lacrimestoppers.org.
Lieu Designated to Represent Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles and Ranch Palos Verdes Peninsula
SACRAMENTO –Sen. Ted W. Lieu is now representing much of northwest Los Angeles County, including Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Monica and West Hollywood in addition to his existing district, thanks to recent Senate Rules Committee approval of a transition plan for constituency services.
The so-called ‘deferred’ areas in California’s Senate districts will remain in effect until 2014 and follows changes to senate district boundaries that were redrawn by the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission in 2011.
The results mean Lieu, D-Torrance, will provide constituency services for nearly 388,000 additional residents in Los Angeles County. He already represented about 931,000 residents.
The finalized assignments for all California State Senators can be found at: http://sdmg.senate.ca.gov/20132014mapsanddata.
Under California’s constitution, the senate is comprised of one state senator per 40 senate districts, elected for four-year terms with a staggered election cycle for odd- and even-numbered districts taking place every two years.
The ‘deferred’ areas are a result of redrawn senate district boundaries by the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission in 2011. Only odd-numbered districts elected a State Senator in 2012. The even-numbered districts established in 2001 will continue to exist until 2014, when the redrawn even-numbered districts elect a state senator.
These unique circumstances create some areas of overlap between the old and new districts (‘accelerated areas’) and some areas without any coverage (‘deferred areas’).
For the 2013-14 Regular Session of the Legislature, each accelerated area essentially has two Senators representing the area, while each deferred area has none. The Senate Committee on Rules has therefore assigned a Senator to provide appropriate constituent services to each deferred area.
There are 3,972,984 Californians living in 1,627,544 housing units in deferred areas throughout the state, according to 2010 Census Bureau figures. Those numbers reflect the whole population residing in those areas, not just registered voters or persons legally eligible to register to vote.
California voters authorized the creation of the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission through the passage of Proposition 11 on the November 2008 ballot. Under the Act, the Commission is charged with drawing the boundaries of California’s Congressional, Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization electoral districts.
Former SEIU President Found Guilty of Stealing from Union
LOS ANGELES — Tyrone Ricky Freeman, the former president of Service Employees International Union Locals 6434 and 434-B, was convicted, Jan. 28, on federal charges of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the union that represents home health care workers.
Freeman, 43, who is residing in Pittsburgh was found guilty of four counts of mail fraud, seven counts of embezzlement and/or theft of labor union assets, one count of making a false statement to a federally insured financial institution, and two counts of subscribing to a false tax return.
The evidence presented during a 10-day jury trial showed that Freeman pilfered money from SEIU Locals 6434 and 434-B by diverting reimbursement payments from a public-sector union that had close ties to the SEIU locals. Freeman collected $2,500 per month from Local 6434 and the California United Homecare Workers, which was established in 2005 by SEIU and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees to represent public sector employees working in the homecare industry in California. From the beginning of 2007 through the summer of 2008, Freeman concealed from the Local 6434 Executive Board and the CUHW Executive Board that he was receiving payments of $2,500 per month in addition to the regular salary that he received from Local 6434.
Freeman also used a Local 434-B credit card to pay $8,105 in personal expenses he incurred during a 2006 trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, which included expenses related to Freeman’s wedding ceremony.
Freeman also stole money from Local 6434 by routing funds through another entity closely aligned with the union – the Long Term Care Housing Corporation, which was a not-for-profit corporation organized in 2004 for the purpose of developing affordable housing for members of Locals 6434 and Local 434-B. The indictment alleges that Freeman took nearly $17,000 from Local 6434 in June 2008 by requesting the Local 6434 executive board to make payments to the corporation without disclosing to the executive board that Freeman would then divert those funds to himself.
The false statement charges relate to lies that Freeman told to Countrywide Bank when he told a bank representative that Local 6434 paid for his personal American Express credit card debt and the monthly lease payments for his Land Rover.
Freeman was also found guilty of subscribing to false tax returns in 2006 and 2007 when he failed to report approximately $63,000 in income he received during those tax years.
Each count of mail fraud carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Each count of making a false statement to a federal insured financial institution carries a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison. Each count of embezzlement and/or theft of labor union assets carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The charge of subscribing to a false tax return carries a statutory maximum penalty of three years in prison.
Freeman is scheduled for sentencing April 22.
Obama Announces New Comprehensive Immigration Reform
WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama announced Jan. 30 that he would sign a comprehensive immigration reform into law by the end of 2013.
On Jan. 28, a bipartisan group of eight senators proposed a framework for immigration.
Four basic pillars include:
- To create a tough but fair path to citizenship contingent on border security and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;
- Reform the legal immigration system to recognize the importance of ways to build the economy.
- Establish and effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft.
- Establish an improved admittance process for workers.
The bipartisan Senate’s plan for a path to citizenship would allow undocumented immigrants to have legal status upon the passage of the law. The legislation still has not been drafted. However, permanent residency would depend on the security of the U.S. and Mexico border. Workplace enforcement also is part of the plan.
Obama said he hopes the bill could pass as early as this summer.
In a speech, Jan. 29, in Las Vegas, Obama threatened to introduce his own bill if negotiations in Congress stall.
Obama said he wants to implement a national system that allows businesses to quickly and accurately verify employment status, as well as increase penalties for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers.
The path to citizenship would also include a background check, paying taxes, paying penalties, learning English, “and then going to the back of the line, behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally.”
It is estimated that there are about 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States and that illegal crossings to the country have dropped by 80 percent since 2000.