Thursday, March 03, 2011

Reyes Announces $50,000 Reward in Teen Shooting

(TOP)Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, joined by Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives, the victim's mother and church pastors, near the sidewalk where Jonathan Val, was fatally shot.
(BOTTOM) Photo of victim Jonathan Val, 17, who was mistaken for a rival gang member.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Monica Valencia
March 3, 2011 (213)473-7001,

Councilmember Ed P. Reyes today announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of the suspects responsible for gunning down a high school teen in the Los Angeles community of Highland Park. Reyes was joined by Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives, the victim's family members and his church pastors at the press conference today at the crime scene, 390 N. Avenue 57.

"I urge anyone with any information about this vicious crime to please come forward," said Reyes, whose district includes Highland Park. "Please give Jonathan's family and friends some peace of mind so they can begin the long, painful journey of healing."

Reyes was joined by LAPD Captain William Murphy and Madeline Rivera, the victim's mother, who delivered a tearful plea calling for the public's help.

"I'm asking for help," said Rivera, holding up a photo of Jonathan. "This kid right here, he had a lot of dreams. He wanted to finish school. And April 28th last year he was standing out here like any other kid. They came around and they finished his life. The only thing I want is justice."

Rivera said her son was not a gang member. He was active in his church and with Peace Warriors, a local gang prevention program.

Pastor Ezra LaTurco, of Victory Outreach Eagle Rock, described Jonathan as a teen with a good sense of humor who loved music. Just months before Jonathan was killed, the teen had joined church members on a bus trip to Colorado for a retreat where he demonstrated his devotion to God, LaTurco said.

On April 28, 2010, just after 4 p.m., Jonathan Val was approached by three male Hispanics in a vehicle as he stood on the sidewalk in front of an apartment building in the 300 block of North Avenue 57, police said. He had just left his aunt's apartment building when the front passenger of the vehicle fired numerous rounds at Jonathan, whom police said was mistaken for a rival gang member. Jonathan was hit twice, in the front neck area and back right thigh, before he fled on foot and collapsed on the street, police said. Jonathan was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call Northeast Homicide Detectives L. Governo or J. Carrillo (213) 847-4261. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Reyes, City Leaders, Cyclists Celebrate L.A. Bike Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Monica Valencia
March 2, 2011 (213)473-7001,

LISTEN to Councilmember Reyes' remarks from this morning's press conference at:

LOS ANGELES, March 2, 2011 -- Councilmember Ed P. Reyes gathered with City leaders and bicyclists at the City Hall south steps today to celebrate the adoption of the City's Bicycle Master Plan.
"With this Bike Plan, we're paving the way for a more bike-friendly L.A.," said Reyes, who has spearheaded bike projects along the Los Angeles River. "Approval of the City's Bicycle Plan is a critical milestone to support bicycling as a viable and safe transportation alternative. It's a cultural shift on how we view transportation, and opens up more opportunities for bicyclists, of all levels of ability and comfort, to ride in an urban environment."

Reyes was joined by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmembers Bill Rosendahl, Eric Garcetti, Tom LaBonge, Jose Huizar, Controller Wendy Greuel, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and dozens of bicyclists who pedaled from communities throughout L.A. to City Hall for this morning's press event.

The City's Bicycle Plan, approved unanimously(12-0) yesterday by the City Council, lays the framework for a Citywide 1,680-mile bikeway system. The plan calls for 200 miles of new bikeways every five years. The plan can be viewed at

“The City’s New Master Bicycle Plan is another great example of Measure R funds at work—we are investing in bicycling as a viable transportation option and in the process encouraging Angelenos to lead healthy, active lifestyles,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “With the addition of over 1,600 miles of bikeways, Los Angeles is on the path to becoming a world-class city for bicycling.”

The City originally adopted a plan in 1977 that envisioned a 600-mile Citywide bikeway network. A second plan in 1996 designed a 673-mile network. The new Bicycle Master Plan designates a Citywide network of 1,680 miles—673 miles from the 1996 plan plus an additional 1,007 miles.

The plan includes three main bikeway networks—the Backbone Network, the Neighborhood Network and the Green Network. When completed, the three networks will give a vast majority of Angelenos access to a City bikeway within one mile of their home.

The 707-mile Backbone Network, comprised primarily of bicycle lanes, will enable access to major employment centers, transit stations and stops, and educational, retail, entertainment, and recreational resources.

The 834-mile Neighborhood Network includes local streets with low traffic volumes and slower speeds where bicyclists of all experience levels can feel comfortable. The Neighborhood Network will enable all bicycle riders, including children, families, young adults, and seniors, to access neighborhood facilities including schools, libraries, shopping districts, parks and open space.

The 139-mile Green Network enhances access with bicycle paths and shared use paths to the City’s green open spaces, particularly river channels like the Los Angeles River.

The Bike Plan will be funded by Measure R Local Return Funds, local funds from the Transportation Development Act, Federal grant funds from the MTA’s Call for Projects, the State’s Bicycle Transportation Account and Federal and State Safe Routes to Schools.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Reyes Paves Way for a Bike-Friendly L.A.

Photo by George Magallanes, Office of Councilmember Ed P. Reyes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Monica Valencia,
March 1, 2011 (213)473-7001

WHAT: Councilmember Ed P. Reyes will join City leaders and bicyclists to celebrate the City's Bicycle Master Plan, adopted by the City Council today by a unanimous(12-0) vote. The Plan lays out 1,680 miles of interconnected bikeways and calls for more than 200 miles of new bicycle routes every five years Citywide, including along the Los Angeles River. There are currently about 375 miles of segmented bikeways Citywide.

”We've always given the automobile the priority, and the bicycles were secondary," said Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, one of the Plan's leading advocates. “But now we're changing and we're having a cultural shift toward different types of transportation. We're even looking at certain corridors where we can eliminate a lane for a car, and add a lane for a bicycle.''

WHEN: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: South steps of Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
WHO: Councilmember Ed P. Reyes
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Councilmember Bill Rosendahl
Jay Slater, Chairman, Bicycle Advisory Committee
Jennifer Klausner, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

Details: The Bicycle Master Plan was developed by the City's Transportation and Planning departments in collaboration with the City's bicycle groups. The Plan will be implemented in part using funds from Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters in 2008 to fund transportation projects. The Plan was developed to encourage alternative transportation options and promote safe and healthy living, especially in Los Angeles' urban neighborhoods.

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