Daily Archives: October 4, 2008

CHP writes thousands of tickets for hands-free driving law violations

by Malou Liwanag-Aguilar/AJPress

SAN BRUNO, CA — “They still don’t get it,” says California Highway Patrol spokesman Tom Marshall.  He was, of course, referring to the more than 20,000 tickets CHP has issued over the past three months to drivers breaking the by using a hands-free cell phone law.

The California driving law imposes as fine of $20 for a first-time offense and a $50 fine for each additional offense.  Exceptions however are allowed, like calls to law enforcement agencies for emergency purposes or emergency services personnel while operating an authorized emergency vehicle.

According to a Harvard study in 2002, 5 percent of all traffic accidents are caused by distracted cell phone users.  CHP statistics also show that cell phone use is the top cause of accidents triggered by distracted drivers going all the way back to 2001.  (www.asianjournal.com)

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20,000 affordable homes to be built in LA

by Cynthia de Castro/AJPress

LOS ANGELES -  is the second largest city in the United States, with an estimated population of 3.8 million. Though thousands migrate to Los Angeles yearly, housing in Los Angeles remains unaffordable and out of reach for too many middle class families. In 2007, more than 5,200 LA families lost their homes to foreclosure – and that number is expected to rise to 10,000 by the end of 2008. At the same time, parents are spending more than half of their incomes on housing. Only 11 percent of the area’s households can afford a median-priced home and approximately 40,000 people sleep on the streets of the City each night.

As part of his effort to put a roof over the head of all City residents, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently unveiled Housing That Works- a five-year, $5 billion plan to build 20,000 affordable housing units and make Los Angeles a more affordable place of middle-class families to live and work.

“This City’s economic success and vitality depend on our ability to plan for a future of sustainability and stability in our housing market,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “This plan lays the building blocks of housing our middle class can afford and takes the first steps

toward building “housing that works” for all Angelenos.”

Housing That Works represents the first time that all housing and planning departments are coming together in a coordinated effort, with one strategy to invest in affordable housing. This coordinated effort will bring a new level of transparency and stability to the City’s housing investment strategy, which will allow it to leverage $1 billion in public funds into a $5 billion investment in affordable housing throughout local neighborhoods.

The Mayor’s Office will coordinate resources from different departments and develop public/private partnerships to reach the 5 billion dollar goal. The $700 million investment from Enterprise Community Partners is a testament to this new strategy.

“Enterprise is pleased to step forward as an early and major partner in this effort to create fit, affordable and sustainable homes for all residents of the City,” said Doris Koo, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners. “Our pledge of $700 million dollars reflects our commitment to focus Enterprise’s energy and resources into making the City of Los Angeles a vibrant and thriving community,” Koo continued.

Using the funding from this capital campaign, Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan pledges to build and preserve 20,000 affordable homes – double the number of units constructed since the beginning of the Mayor’s time in office. This includes implementing a mixed-income housing ordinance that requires the City’s largest developers to offer units at prices LA’s workforce can afford.

In addition, this initiative will create 20 sustainable transit communities focusing new development in the areas where it makes the most sense – along public transit corridors and close to job centers.

Another key component of Housing That Works involves shifting the City’s strategy from managing homelessness to moving people out of it. The plan funds 2,200 permanent supportive housing units – where homeless men and women are connected to social services – and expands Section 8 voucher programs for the chronically homeless. It also puts the pieces in place to complete the redevelopment of Jordan Downs and transform

LA’s public housing sites into vibrant, mixed-income communities.

The final part of Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan will protect LA’s homes and neighborhoods by addressing the foreclosure crisis through the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative; preserving the affordability of 14,000 rental units; and educating Angelenos about their rights as landlords and tenants.

Housing That Works takes the first steps in the City’s effort to address these challenges, reverse the negative trends of recent years, and bridge the ever-growing gap between the housing LA produces and the housing it needs.

The city departments and agencies included in Housing That Works are: the LA Housing Department, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, the Community Redevelopment Agency, the LA Homelessness Services Authority, and the Planning Department.   (www.asianjournal.com)

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Mass celebrates Filipino migrants around the world

by Momar Visaya/AJPress

NEW YORK — St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in the heart of midtown Manhattan, played host to hundreds of Filipino Americans who trooped to the city to hear the Filipino Apostolate Mass in honor of the feast day of San Lorenzo Ruiz on Sunday, Sept. 23.

“We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of the first Filipino saint, and all Filipino migrants all over the world,” Fr. Erno Diaz, director of the Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz said as he welcomed everyone.

Rev. Onesimo Gordoncillo, archbishop of Capiz, was the principal celebrant and he was joined by about 20 pastors and priests who concelebrated the mass. Ambassador Hilario Davide and his wife Virginia and Deputy Consul General Millie Thomeczek led the list of officials representing the Philippines in the event.

The feast’s theme, “Celebrating Filipino Migrants Around the World” focused on the Filipino diaspora and how Lorenzo Ruiz, himself a migrant, is considered the patron saint of Filipino migrants and Overseas Filipino Workers.

Fr. Diaz also announced the launching of The San Lorenzo Ruiz Global Hour which means bringing the Holy Mass, complete with bilingual hymns in Tagalog and English via The Filipino Channel (TFC). “This is our way of bringing the mass to our brothers and sisters here and elsewhere who otherwise would not be able to attend mass and listen to the word of God,” Fr. Diaz added.

Various Filipino parish groups from different parts of New York and New Jersey joined in the processional march dressed in their Filipiniana best as the liturgical celebration went underway.

Ambassador Davide led the congregation in reading the prayer to San Lorenzo Ruiz.

“You, who died in a foreign land and left a family in our dear motherland / Take special care of all Filipinos living and working here in the United States and in other parts of the world / And of their loved ones left behind in the Philippines / Inspire them, as well, to serve as envoys of our Faith and of Filipino family values,” the prayer read.

Lorenzo Ruiz was beatified by Pope John Paul II on February 15, 1981 and was canonized along w ith four Spaniards, nine Japanese and one Italian on October 18, 1987.   (www.asianjournal.com)

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