Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reyes Hopes $95,000 Reward Will Help In Slain Deputy Case

Councilmember Ed P. Reyes today announced a $75,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons involved in the fatal shooting of Sheriff’s Deputy Juan Abel Escalante, 27, in the Cypress Park community. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has added an additional $20,000 for a total reward up to $95,000.

“We need to make a statement as a community, here in Cypress Park, that this horrendous crime cannot go on any further. We need to reach closure, we need that person arrested and it can only happen with your help,” Reyes said at the press conference, held at the corner of Aragon Avenue and Thorpe Street, near where the shooting occurred. “Please help us out. Yes, there is $75,000, but do it because it is the right thing to do.”

Reyes was joined by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Charlie Beck and family members of the victim, including his wife Celeste Escalante, who delivered a tearful plea for help.

“Please call the hotline. Even if you just heard the shots, I heard them. If I could have run out there five minutes before, I would have, but I couldn’t and I know someone saw. I know someone heard,” said Escalante, with her three children by her side, at the press conference. “If you could just let them [LAPD] know. The littlest thing, the smallest thing will help…at least we can know the person who did this can be brought to justice.”

Escalante was fatally shot on August 2, 2008 at 5:40 a.m. as he left his boyhood Cypress Park home near the 3400 block of Thorpe Street, according to the LAPD. The off-duty deputy was on his way to work at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. As he stood by his car, the shooter gunned down Escalante from a vehicle, said LAPD authorities.
Escalante is survived by his wife, Celeste, and three children: Alexander, 10, Marissa, 8, and Julian, who just turned three years old in September.

Anyone with information about this murder is asked to call LAPD Detectives Thomas Mathew or Steven Eguchi at (213) 485-2531. After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD. Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website, All tips may remain anonymous.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reyes, Dodgers and Supermarkets Team Up to Help More Than 600 Families For Thanksgiving

Many families experience hardships through the holidays, especially now during these difficult economic times. But thanks to the generosity of local businesses and volunteers, their holidays will be a little brighter this year.

I recently joined more than 40 volunteers, the Los Angeles Dodgers and local businesses at Dodger Stadium to hand out all the fixings for 600 Thanksgiving dinners to needy families. A special thank you to Ralphs and Food 4 Less who generously donated the food to families in my district, Council District 13, and those qualified through nonprofit groups throughout the City.

Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, Hall of Fame manager and special advisor to the chairman Tommy Lasorda, Dodgers legends “Sweet” Lou Johnson and Bobby Castillo, the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council and the Echo Park Improvement Association all volunteered their time for the Nov. 20 event.
Having grown up in many of the neighborhood I represent, giving back to the community is something that has always been very important to me. I wish you, your family and friends a loving and safe Thanksgiving Day.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Reyes Announces $50,000 Reward in Highland Park Shooting

(Photo of victim Freddy Carranza displayed at press conference)

Councilmember Ed P. Reyes today announced a $50,000 reward today for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons involved in the fatal shooting of Freddy Carranza, 26, in the Highland Park community.

“If we don’t capture the persons who have committed this heinous crime they are bound to do it again,” Reyes said at the press conference at the LAPD Northeast Community Police Station. “If you know someone who heard something, or saw something that could help us, $50,000 is there for you. Please step forward for peace in our community.”

Reyes was joined by LAPD Northeast Division homicide detectives and family members of the victim, including his sister Cindy Martinez, who tearfully described Freddy as a "very peaceful person" who wanted to become a mechanic.

“My brother was a very peaceful person,” said Martinez, at the press conference. “He didn’t believe in violence. He was very kind. He loved his family, his friends. He didn’t deserve this. Nobody deserves this.”

Carranza was fatally shot on March 11, 2008 during a drive-by shooting, according to LAPD Northeast homicide detectives. A gunman inside of a vehicle opened fired on him while he was standing in a second floor hallway of an apartment building at about 8:30 p.m. in the 200 block of North Avenue 53, police said.

Carranza was found lying on the second-floor breezeway of an apartment complex, suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest, police said. Paramedics who arrived shortly thereafter, pronounced the victim dead, police said.

Carranza had just returned from the movies and stopped by to visit friends. While he was talking to friends under a covered breezeway, a gunman along with three other men in a small black compact vehicle drove by, fired a shot, striking Carranza, police said.

The suspects are described only as male Hispanics, approximately 18-21 years of age and possible gang members. The victim was not a gang member, police said.

Anyone with information about this murder is asked to contact Northeast Division homicide detectives at 213-847-4261. After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD. Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website, All tips may remain anonymous.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Arroyo Arts Collective "Re-Discovery Tour"

Artists from top to bottom: Leo Limon, Kikki Eder; J. Michael Walker; Sonia Romero; Lt Mustardseed; and Ricky Swallow

Learn about the cultural legacy of our communities through the eyes of artists.
This Sunday, Nov. 23, more than 140 artists in Northeast Los Angeles will open their homes and studios to the public in the The Arroyo Arts Collective “Re-Discovery Tour . The self-guided tour showcases artists, mostly in my district, in the Highland Park, Mount Washington and Eagle Rock communities. Leave your car behind. I have arranged for free shuttles to make your tour even more enjoyable.
Tour tickets can be purchased in advance ($10 plus $1 shipping & handling) online at and at Galco’s Old World Grocery, 5702 York Boulevard, Highland Park. Tickets the day of the tour ($15) will be available at the Charles F. Lummis Home, at 200 E. Avenue 43, in Highland Park, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tour ticket holders will receive a comprehensive map of artists’ studios and homes; studios and homes will be open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Who: Councilmember Reyes, with the Arroyo Arts Collective, a grassroots community arts organization in Northeast Los Angeles, invite the world to discover art in the heart of their neighborhoods.
What: “Re-Discovery Tour,” a self-guided tour of more than 140 artists’ homes and studios in Highland Park, Mount Washington and Eagle Rock.
Where: Tour starts at the Lummis Home, 200 E. Avenue 43, Highland Park, CA 90031
When: November 23, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets: $10 plus $1 shipping and handling in advance at or $15 at the Lummis Home on the day of the tour.
Information: (323) 850-8566.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Los Angeles State Historic Park Public Meeting

The design for Los Angeles State Historic Park is taking shape! Please join California State Parks and Hargreaves Associates Thursday, Nov. 20, from 6:30-8 p.m. for a presentation and public discussion regarding the current phase of work. The project covers a 32-acre stretch, commonly known as the Cornfield, from the Chinatown Metro Gold Line Station to the Los Angeles River.

WHAT: Los Angeles State Historic Park Public Meeting
WHEN: Thursday, November 20, 2008 from 6:30-8 pm
WHERE: Los Angeles Conservation Corps,
Clean & Green Headquarters
1400 N Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Friday, November 14, 2008

MacArthur Park Neighborhood Council Meeting

Councilmember Reyes invites you to the MacArthur Park Neighborhood Council Meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 10, where he will recognize Dr. Ben Marte, a revered psychiatrist in the Philippines and the United States.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at Charles White Elementary School, 2401 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057, (213) 487-9172.

Dr. Marte, who migrated to Los Angeles 21 years ago, is vice president of the Historic Filipinotown Rotary Club. He has served as a behavioral science consultant with the Los Angeles County of Mental Health. Dr. Marte has also been involved in projects relating to the prevention of police brutality and the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents.

A Special Meeting on the Future of the LA River

Councilmember Reyes encourages you to attend a special meeting of the Ad Hoc River Committee on Monday, Nov. 17 at City Hall to hear updates on the future of the Los Angeles River.

Agenda items include the following:
  • The Bureau of Engineering will present status reports on the establishment of an LA River Special Projects Office

  • A progress report by the City Planning Department on the implementation of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan.

  • A quarterly status report by a City Administrative Officer on the LARRMP projects

  • A motion proposed by Councilmember Reyes and Garcetti to the B.O.E to report on short and long term recommendations to address safety liability and environmental concerns of the LA River

Monday, November 17, 2008
Room 1060, City Hall at 3 p.m.
200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taylor Yard, Where the Wild Things Are

Councilmember Reyes encourages you to join North East Trees this Saturday to help recreate a wild place at Rio de Los Angeles State Park(Taylor Yard). Please bring a non-perishable food item for the food drive.
WHAT: Fall Harvest
WHERE: Rio de Los Angeles State Park(Taylor Yard), 1900 San Fernando Road, LA CA 90065, Entrance Gate: Macon
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Event Details: Join us as we recreate a wild place in the city. We are planting native trees and clearing away non-native plants. You'll see lots of birds and butterflies, and you may see toads and ground squirrels too. Rio de Los Angeles - where the wild things are!
Please wear shoes with closed toes, long pants, a hat, and sunblock.Click here to see and print the event flyer.
Information: Nidia Garcia, Director of Community Outreach, at 323-441-8634 x 11, or by e-mail at

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reyes, Community Honor Local Veterans at Cypress Park Memorial

Councilmember Reyes joined with 200 people at the Cypress Park Veterans Memorial to honor more than 160 local veterans for their courage and heroism. During the Nov. 8 ceremony, participants observed a moment of silence for slain Sheriff’s Deputy Juan Escalante and Maria Serafin, a founding member of the Friends of Cypress Park Community Improvement Association.

The annual event, held at the intersection of Cypress and Pepper avenues, is co-hosted by the Friends of Cypress Park and the Greater Cypress Park Neighborhood Council.

The veterans were treated to a parachute visit by the "Shooting Stars," a veterans military skydiving team, and a performance by the local Xipe Totec—Danza Aztec. Local restaurants and stores, including El Pescador, Super A Foods, and Smart & Final, catered the reception at the Cypress Park Recreation Center.

It is a tradition at the memorial to hand out a commemorative program listing all local veterans. There are currently 164 veterans listed. If you would like to be a part of the program, be informed of future community events, or know veterans who work, live or have lived in the Cypress Park community that should be included, please call or visit:

Cypress Park Youth and Family Center
929 Cypress Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 226-1682

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reyes, City Council Support Nationwide Hunger Strike

Councilmember Reyes celebrates efforts, symbolic and legislative, that promote dignity and respect for all people. So on Friday, Reyes joined with the the Los Angeles City Council to unanimously approve a resolution he co-authored that commends Fast For Our Future hunger strikers for supporting immigration policy that unites all families.

More than 400 people nationwide participated in the fast which ran from Oct. 15 through Nov. 4 Election Day, said organizer Kai Newkirk.

Some fasted for one day. Twelve went 21 days without food and only drank water.

The group, camped out in tents at Olvera Street, was comprised of religious leaders, students and advocates who fasted to mobilize at least 1 million people to sign a pledge in support of immigrant rights. They believe that to successfully confront and overcome the human rights crisis, we must use the non-violent strategies and tactics taught by Cesar Chavez and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Reyes, Community Activate Pedestrian Warning Signal

Councilmember Ed P. Reyes joined members of the Lincoln Heights community recently to activate the Pedestrian Warning Signal at Daly Street and Manitou Avenue. The device will help improve the safety of pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists crossing the high traffic intersection.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Community Workshops: Cornfields Arroyo Seco Specific Plan

More parks? Public transportation? Historical preservation? Councilmember Reyes encourages you to weigh in on one of two Cornfields Arroyo Seco Specific Plan meetings Thursday, Nov. 6, and Saturday, Nov. 8. The Plan covers the 650 acres between the Chinatown and Heritage Square Metro rail stations. Input gathered from the meetings, held in conjunction with the City's Planning Department, will be used to shape a final Plan, possibly by the end of 2009. The Plan area is bi-sected by the Los Angeles River and includes the Pasadena (110) Freeway, and Arroyo Seco, which run along its northern perimeter.

Thursday, Nov 6, 2008:
Ann Street Elementary School, 126 E. Bloom St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Presentation: 6 - 6:30 p.m
Open House: 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008:
Goodwill Southern California, 342 N. San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Presentation: 10 -10:30 a.m.
Open House: 10:30 -11:30a.m.
For more information, call Jill Sourial at (213) 473-7001, or Claire Bowin at (213) 473-9987.