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In this issue: Commerce Casino and Hotel, READS Center, Texcoco Restaurant and more!

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Published by City of Commerce, 2018-11-16 17:38:44

Commerce Connection November Magazine

In this issue: Commerce Casino and Hotel, READS Center, Texcoco Restaurant and more!

Keywords: Commerce Connection November Magazine

we say thank you to the brave men and
The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect
upon all the many gifts and people in our women who served our country with honor
lives. This Thanksgiving, the City of
Commerce is thankful for all the wonderful and distinction. We will again be hosting a
residents, businesses and visitors who make
this the Model City. Veterans Resource Fair, which provides
We are extremely
grateful to our stake- information about services for our Veterans.
holders, including
the Commerce Also, make sure to
Casino, for helping
us continue to mark your calendar
provide world class
city programs, serv- for December 3 when
ices and events to
everyone in the we will be hosting the
Community. Thank
you all and we wish Annual Tree Lighting
you a Happy
Thanksgiving. Ceremony at the front

We are fortunate to of City Hall. The
live in Southern
California where the holiday seasons are
weather is always
beautiful. As we about generosity to
enter into November,
we’ll see cooler our family, friends
temperatures and
hopefully some and community,
much needed rain.
The change in which is why we’d like
weather will also set the mood for the many
holiday activities scheduled for this month. to encourage local
Between the City’s Library and Parks and
Recreation Departments, there are several businesses and
events for residents to participate in.
We would like to invite the community to join residents to consider
us in honoring our nation’s veterans at the
Annual Veterans Day Ceremony being held giving a helping hand
in front of the Commerce City Hall on
Sunday, November 11 at 10 a.m. Join us as to families who are

less fortunate. We

urge residents to

make donations of

food, clothing, funds

or gift cards to the

Commerce Holiday

Cheer Program. Your

generosity can help

brighten the holidays

for a deserving family in need. To find out

Is a monthly magazine published by the more, please call the Social Services Division
City of Commerce and mailed to
at (323) 887- 4460.
Commerce residents. The Connection is
also available at all City facilities. We hope you have safe holiday season.

Editor Also remember that City Hall and branch
Lena Shumway
libraries will be closed on Monday, November
Staff Writers/Photographers
Daniel Larios 12 in observance of Veterans Day as well as
Marie Hovik
on November 22 and 23 for Thanksgiving
Graphic Design Layout & Illustrator
Anthony Aguilar Weekend.

To submit a story idea or a high I didn’t receive the Fall brochure listing all the programs and activities the
definition digital photo for City provides. Where can I get a copy?
publishing consideration, You can stop by the Commerce City Hall and pick up a copy of the brochure or
please contact the check it out online at
Public Information Office
323-887-4453 There are stray cats running around my property. What do I do?
[email protected] Residents can call Animal Control and rent a trap cage registered with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife for $10 a week in order to remove stray cats from
their properties. Residents can report an animal issue by calling (323) 887-4460
2 Connection during regular business hours, which are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Residents can can call 323-722-4805, ext. 2236 and leave a message from 6 p.m. -
8 p.m. Monday-Friday and on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. After regular business
hours, please call L.A. County Animal Control at 562-940-6898.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2018 under specific guidelines to take place beginning with the upcoming
winter youth basketball season.
Approved the proposed stop sign installation along Triggs Street at
the intersection of Triggs Street and Duncan Avenue, converting it to OCTOBER 2, 2018
an all-way or four-way STOP-controlled intersection.
Approved an agreement with the California Department of Toxic Sub- Approved a General Construction Agreement between the City of
stances Control for the Environmental Assessment and Remediation Commerce and Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) to
of the former Specific Plating Site located at 1350 S. Eastern Avenue. improve the area around S. Eastern Avenue and Commerce Way.
Approved the construction project plans, specifications, and estimates Approved the installation of No Trucks signs along Noakes Street and
for the Atlantic Boulevard Corridor Improvement Project. along South Eastern Avenue, and also install No Thru Traffic signs
Approved expenditures related to the Senior Rent Subsidy Program, along Duncan Avenue and McBride Avenue.
additional Chi Kung and Yoga Classes and the purchase of two new Awarded an architectural and engineering contract to Stantec Archi-
computers and printers through the Commerce Community Benefits tecture, Inc. for the visioning and master planning the Public Service
Fund. Building on the site at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Telegraph
Approved an agreement with Municipal Translation Company to pro- Road.
vide simultaneous interpreter services at City Council and related city Awarded Semi-Exclusive Agreements for commercial refuse and re-
meetings. cycling services to AAA Rubbish, Waste Management, Calmet, NASA,
Approved a proposal to let non-residents participate in youth recre- Haul Away, American Reclamation, and Universal Waste.
ational sports programs, not including travel teams, as a pilot project


The City of Commerce now offers Spanish La Ciudad de Commerce ahora ofrece servicios de
translation services to residents who attend City traducción al español para los residentes que asisten
Council and City related meetings. At the be- a reuniones relacionadas con el Ayuntamiento y la
ginning of every meeting, residents who need Ciudad. Al comienzo de cada reunión, los residentes
translation services will be given a headset with que necesiten servicios de traducción recibirán un au-
a professional interpreter translating the entire dífono con un intérprete profesional que traducirá la
meeting on the other end. By reducing this lan- reunión completa en el otro extremo. Al reducir esta
guage barrier, the City is committed towards barrera del idioma, la Ciudad está comprometida con
transparency, engaging the community, and en- la transparencia, la participación de la comunidad y
couraging much more active participation from el fomento de una participación mucho más activa de
our citizens. nuestros ciudadanos.

Connection 3


Wendy Castillo based ones. She admits that applying for all of the scholarships
was time-consuming, but it was time well spent: when she
said that when she was growing up she didn’t know that graduated with her doctorate, she was debt-free!
doctorate degrees existed. She does now: she earned her PhD
in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania in Although Castillo was set financially, there were still difficulties
August. she had to overcome. She described her early days in
Providence, Rhode Island to attend Brown University as a
Castillo doesn’t say when she learned about PhDs, but she “cultural and academic shock.” Castillo dealt with it by seeking
became obsessed with earning one while she was still attend- out mentors and using tutors and other available resources.
ing Schurr High School. She began preparing by frequenting
the Commerce Library to read all the books in the college prep After graduating from Brown, Castillo decided that she wanted
section. She also spent countless hours studying and taking to enter the field of education. “I wanted other Latino and first-
exams. At school, she participated in extracurricular activities generation students to know about the opportunities that exist
and worked on developing her leadership skills. in higher education, and to serve as a role-model,” she says.

Despite Brown University’s low 9% acceptance rate and the Recently, she served on a panel at the Commerce Library to
fact that no one from the City of Commerce had ever been share her college experience and wisdom with students. She
accepted, Castillo decided that’s where she would attend. She encourages all college-bound students to study abroad if
thinks 10 is a good number of schools to apply to. However, possible. “Seeing the world informs your outlook and
she applied to Brown under their Early Decision option which perspective on life,” she says.
meant that she would have received an early rejection so she
could apply to other universities. Fortunately, she did not need Besides studying in Italy and traveling in Europe, some of
to apply elsewhere. Castillo’s other accomplishments include receiving a Harvard
Strategic Data Fellowship, teaching in Florida and Mexico,
To fund her education, Castillo said she received nine interning for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington
Commerce Scholarships as well as other need- and merit- D.C. and even taking a class with actress Emma Watson.

Castillo is currently employed as a Research and Data
Analyst. She also teaches at Princeton University.

4 Connection

Dresses Sofia Vergara’s (and Other Fun Lessons)

Commerce residents have various different reasons for taking ESL the classroom. Lessons are embedded in lively discussions about
(English as a Second Language) classes at the City of Commerce such familiar and interesting topics as the color of Sofia Vergara’s
Public Library’s READS Center. dresses, novellas, celebrities and well-known phrases.
For Mina Renteria, improving her English meant she would be able to
hold better conversations with her daughter-in-law. Martinez, who holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Dance, also uses
role playing exercises. In one, he directed his students (all of whom
Nena Cruz has taken the classes for three years and said the classes were women) to pretend that another was the “other woman” and to
have helped her communicate with her doctor and pharmacists. ask many questions so she could determine the reason for their
husband’s infidelity. Apparently, some students got into character by
Others want to learn English so they can get a job, become a U.S. changing their tone of voice which resulted in much hilarity.
citizen or even to become proficient at sending text messages in English.
When the 10-week sessions come to an end, Martinez and Office
The classes are conducive for students who need assistance attaining Assistant Abigail Calderon who helps teach the classes are proud of
their goals. Literacy Program Manager Evelyn Diaz said, “The structure each student’s remarkable progress. They appreciate the knowledge
of the class is simple: they provide a safe space where folks can practice that they made a difference, that the lessons they taught were useful
speaking English and learn practical words and phrases that will help and entertaining.
them on a daily basis.”
Student Nena Cruz said she and her fellow learners loved every-
Senior Library Assistant Josue Martinez, who has been teaching the thing about the class, even playing “Simon Says.”
classes on a voluntary basis for the past three years, said “Learning
English is not easy.” Martinez speaks from experience; when he took ESL When Martinez decided to volunteer to teach the classes, he set
classes as a child, he was bored and felt out of place. As an instructor, out to prove a point: “Learning English doesn’t have to be difficult,
Martinez takes great care to ensure his students are confident and foreign or boring.”
The READS Center offers ESL classes twice per year and can be
To get students to speak in class, Martinez brings Latin pop culture into reached at 323-722-6660, ext. 2823

Connection 5

The City of Commerce is known throughout the region as a
“Model City” because residents, businesses and visitors enjoy
quality services, programs, and events, all for minimal to no
cost. What makes this possible are our local business partners and
the revenue generated by sales taxes. However, the one business
that contributes much more to the community than any other organ-
ization is the Commerce Casino and Hotel.

Established in 1983 to provide card players a safe and fun venue
to play and more importantly for the City to safeguard revenue
against future economic slumps, the Commerce Casino was trans-
formed from a modest poker room into the world’s largest card room
with over 270 active poker tables, drawing more than 9,000 visitors
a day.

The success of the Commerce Casino results in contributions of
more than $27 million to the annual Commerce Operating Budget,
making it a major driving force behind the City’s economic stability.
In fact, it is anticipated that approximately 42.3% of the City’s budget
will be funded by the Commerce Casino, helping to sustain Public
Safety, Libraries and Park and Recreation programs like the Miss
Commerce Pageant, various Senior Center activities and services,
and after school programs for children and teens.

The Casino is also a major tourist attraction, serving as the home
for major poker tournaments, such as the LA Poker Open, the Cal-
ifornia State Poker Championship, and the Los Angeles Poker Clas-
sic. In addition, the Casino is a venue for several high profile
sporting events, such as world boxing championships, live Mixed
Martial Arts events, and so much more. The Casino attracts hun-
dreds of thousands of visitors from all around the globe to the City
of Commerce. More tourists mean more money being spent in the
Model City, which helps local retail businesses grow and prosper.
When businesses prosper, so do residents.

The Commerce Casino isn’t just a place to play card games: it is
also a place to relax and rest. The full-service 9-story Crowne Plaza
Hotel provides luxurious amenities such as the Meridian Day Spa,
a beauty salon, pool and sundeck, banquet rooms, shops, enter-
tainment, and fine dining options.

6 Connection

The Commerce Casino is not only the world’s largest card room,
it is also the City of Commerce’s largest community partner. The
Casino continues to be a strong supporter of the City’s Scholarship
Program, generously donating $50,000 to the scholarship’s budget
annually. This past year, 74 of the highest achieving students in
Commerce were awarded a scholarship. For the past 30 years,
the Commerce Casino has contributed more than $1,000,000 to
the scholarship program, which has helped thousands of students
from our City pursue their educational dreams.

“It has been a great honor – and one of my favorite responsibilities
– to participate in the Scholarship Program,” said John Griffo, Di-
rector of Business Development at the Commerce Casino. “Getting
to speak with and contribute to the future academic success of
some of the most talented and accomplished students in our com-
munity is personally and professionally rewarding.”

In addition, the Commerce Casino is a major sponsor of the City’s
Clippers Community Night, donating funds to purchase tickets so
that a busload of local children and teens can enjoy an exciting bas-
ketball game at Staples Center every year.

The Casino also brings holiday cheer to those who need it. The
Casino regularly donates nearly 300 meals to the Commerce Public
Library’s Children’s Holiday Program and provides more than 200
meals to the City’s Holiday Cheer Program. They also supplement
the program by throwing a party for those less fortunate in our com-
munity by providing toys, crafts, entertainment and a visit from
Santa Claus himself. The Casino ensures that all in our commu-
nity can have wonderful holiday memories with their families.

The Casino’s generosity doesn’t stop there. The Casino’s gifts of
breakfast burritos are all the rage at the Commerce Senior Center.
They also provide meals, gift cards, raffle prizes, and host several
fun events for local senior citizens and so much more!

The Commerce Casino is more than a typical poker room; it is a
top employer which provides more than 2,400 jobs. They are a
caring corporate partner that helps enrich the lives of children,
students, and seniors. Thanks to the Commerce Casino, residents,
businesses and visitors all enjoy an amazing experience in the
Model City.

Connection 7

Gregorio Segura, co-owner of Aqui es Texcoco restaurant in Use coins, nuts and bolts or anything
Commerce has been in what he refers to as “the lamb that makes noise
business” for decades.
The restaurant specializes in Barbacoa de Borrego (lamb Hazing Coyoyes
barbecue) which is believed to have originated in a region in Mexico
known as Texcoco. Traditionally, the lamb meat was prepared by Coyote sightings are still being reported in Commerce and in neighbor-
roasting it underground for more than seven hours. The restaurant ing cities. Although the City is working with a trapper to resolve the prob-
prepares their lamb using a special oven to replicate the traditional lem, residents still need to take precautions. One of the best ways to
method and taste. keep coyotes out of our neighborhoods is by “hazing,” which essentially
means scaring it away.
When Segura and his business partner Francisco “Paco” Perez
decided to open a restaurant in the area, they wanted it be located “It’s important to keep coyotes from getting comfortable living among
in a predominantly Latino area, and there had to plenty of parking. humans,” Animal Control Officer Josh Swisher explains. “If coyotes are
Although they weren’t looking at Commerce in particular, they not hazed, they will lose their fear of humans; this increases the
discovered that the City satisfied their requirements perfectly. likelihood of a person being bitten or having a pet attacked.”

The restaurant may have only been open since in 2014, but it has The California Department of Fish and Wildlife advises anyone who
garnered an impressive array of positive reviews from several encounters a coyote to immediately pick up children and pets. Then at-
prominent sources, including Fox11, Los Angeles Times and Los tempt to scare the coyote away, provided that it is not cornered, injured
Angeles magazine, to name a few. They have also established a or protecting its pups. If any of these conditions apply, maintain eye
large customer base which Segura says comes from all over and contact with the coyote and back away slowly. Never run away or turn
who are not all Latino. your back to a coyote.

Despite the restaurant’s location near offices and other non-retail Hazing has proven effective and consists of making yourself appear
businesses, the restaurant’s busiest days are during the weekends, large, yelling, throwing non-edible objects and otherwise appearing to
when Segura says they serve more than 1,000 customers. be as threatening as possible. The Humane Society suggests using a
variety of hazing methods so that coyotes do not become desensitized
The restaurant has a patio, private area for parties or meetings to any of them.
and even a children’s menu, which rather than offering spaghetti or
chicken nuggets as other restaurants do, includes tacos and Scaring coyotes can be done with an air horn or coyote shaker, which
quesadillas. If you like karaoke, visit the restaurant on Thursdays is easy to make. Just get a clean, empty can and add some coins, nuts
and Friday nights. and bolts or anything that makes noise. Tape it shut and shake the can
as needed.
What can customers expect from Aqui es Texcoco? “They’re going
to find the traditional Please call the Animal Control Division at 323-887-4460, ext. 2236
lamb Barbacoa,” for more information or to report coyote sightings in the City. Also report
Segura says. them to the Coyote Cacher website at
Cacher/ to help the City locate problem areas.
Daily Hours:
8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
5850 S Eastern Ave

8 8CoCnnoencnteiocntion

Fiestas Patrias

Miss Commerce and her Royal Court enjoyed the Mexican Independence Day Celebration at Bristow Park.

Grandparents Day Utility Box Art Program

Grandparents and their grandchildren celebrated their special bond by More utility boxes have been turned into works of art throughout the City, beautifying our City Streets.
engaging in fun activities.

Veterans Resource Center Deaf Awareness

Veterans and their families are encouraged to visit the City’s Veterans Resourece Center to Resident Janelle Ocampo helped spread deaf awareness during an aquatics practice
learn about resources available to them. by setting up a table full of treats and coloring pages.

Connection 9


1 2 3

Coco Movie Screening
Rosewood Library
5 p.m.

Día de los Muertos
Bandini Library
5 p.m.

Parks and Recreation
6 p.m.

4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Daylight Savings Uno Tournament General Election Senior Citizens Uno Tournament Uno Championship Game 24
Time Ends Rosewood Library Commission Bristow Library Bandini Library
13 12:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m.
Turn clocks back one hour 4 p.m. 4 p.m.
City Council Teen Craft
11 Pajama Storytime Meeting Rosewood Library Community Services
Rosewood Library 6 p.m. Commission
Veterans Day 3:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
Veterans Day 6 p.m.
Uno Tournament 15 16
Ceremony Youth Advisory Veterans Library
City Hall Commission Virtual Reality
10 a.m. 7 p.m. 4 p.m. Bristow Library

12 14 5 p.m.

City Hall & Virtual Reality Hecho a Mano
Libraries Closed Bristow Library Bandini Library

5 p.m. 5:30 p.m.

Measure AA Meeting Hecho a Mano
6 p.m. Bristow Library

20 6 p.m.

City Council Meeting Traffic Commission
6 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

18 19 21 22 23

Virtual Reality Teen Craft City Hall & City Hall &
Rosewood Library Veterans Library Libraries Closed Libraries Closed

5 p.m. 3:30 p.m.

Comic Book Anthology Special Needs
Rosewood Library Commission
6:15 p.m.
6:30 p.m.

25 26 27 28 29 30

Library Commission Video Games Teen Craft Video Games
6 p.m. Veterans Library Bristow Library Rosewood Library

Comic Book Anthology 4 p.m. 3:3pm 3 p.m.
Rosewood Library
6:15 p.m. Computer Class Planning Commission Teen Book Club
City Hall & Rosewood Library 6:30 p.m. 4 p.m.
Libraries Closed
6 p.m. Teen Advisory Group
5 p.m.

City of Commerce 2535 Commerce Way, Commerce, CA 90040
(323) 722-4805 Fax (323) 888-6841

10 Connection


JANUARY 2019 1

SMT W T FS Library Children’s Holiday
1 234 5 Program

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Council Chambers
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 10 a.m.
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

23 4 5 6 78

Tree Lighting Hecho a Mano Teen Craft Hecho a Mano Adult Holiday Faire
Ceremony Rosewood Library Rosewood Library Veterans Library
6 p.m.
11 a.m. 3:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m.

City Council Senior Citizens Parks and Recreation
Meeting 6 p.m. Commission Commission
12:30 p.m.  6 p.m.

Hecho a Mano
Rosewood Library

6 p.m.

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Education Commission Measure AA Meeting Teen Craft Hecho a Mano Teen Video Games Royal Tea Party
6 p.m. 6 p.m. Bandini Library Bandini Library Rosewood Library Senior Center

Youth Advisory 3:30pm 5:30 p.m. 3 p.m.
7 p.m. English Book Club Community Services Logic Study Group
Il Saggio Commission Rosewood Library
6 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Traffic Commission
6:30 p.m. Teen Paint Night
Rosewood Library

6 p.m.

16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Winter Reading Program Cookie Decorating Gift Wrapping Christmas Home Gift Wrapping Gift Wrapping
Begins Rosewood Library Rosewood Library Decorating Contest All Libraries All Libraries
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
All libraries 11 a.m. Gift Wrapping
Gift Wrapping All Libraries
City Council All Libraries 3 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Winter Begins
Meeting 6 p.m. 3 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Basketball Registration
Special Needs All Parks
Commission 6 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31City Hall &
City Hall & Teen Craft
Libraries Closed Libraries Closed Bristow Library

3:30 p.m.

Planning Commission
6:30 p.m.

City of Commerce 2535 Commerce Way, Commerce, CA 90040
(323) 722-4805 Fax (323) 888-6841

Connection 11

2535 Commerce Way
Commerce, CA 90040 U.S. POSTAGE


Important Phone Numbers HELP VETERANS
The Veterans Resource Center is in need of
Aquatic Center 323-887-4404 compassionate, dedicated individuals who would like to
Public Safety 323-887-4460 help veterans and their families. If you possess basic
Animal Control 323-887-4460 computer skills and want to be part of a great team of
Weekend/Evenings 562-940-6898 volunteers who are helping those who have served our
Calmet 562-259-1239
SCE St. Lights Out* 800-611-1911 country, we want you! Training is provided.

Mayor Hugo A. Argumedo *Provide Light Pole # for Report To become a volunteer, please call Veterans
Mayor Pro Tem John Soria Resource Center Coordinator Olivia Audoma
Councilmember Ivan Altamirano E.L.A. Sheriff’s Dept. 323-264-4151
Councilmember Leonard Mendoza at 323-722-6660, ext. 2825.
Councilmember Oralia Y. Rebollo Graffiti Hotline 323-887-4444
Visit our table at the Veterans Day Ceremony!
Vector Control 562-944-9656

Union Pacific 888-877-7267

BNSF 800-832-5452


City of Commerce 2535 Commerce Way Commerce, CA 90040 • (323) 722-4805 Fax (323) 888-6841 •

NOVEMBER CHANNEL 3 CITY CABLE Let’s celebrate and thank our
veterans for their service!
City Council Meeting
Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. (Live every 1st and 3rd Tues.) Mondays 8 a.m. Sunday, November 11
Wednesdays at 10 a.m., Thursdays at 5 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m.
Commerce City Hall
In A Council Minute 10 a.m.
Mondays at 4 p.m., Tuesdays at 9 a.m., Wednesdays at 1 p.m., Thursdays at
4 p.m., Fridays at 3 p.m., Saturdays at 11:00 a.m., Sundays at 5:00 p.m. A light lunch will be served
Shuttle to Ceremony
Commerce City News
Mondays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 8 a.m., Wednesday at 3 p.m., Thursdays at Pick Up: 9 a.m. - Veterans Park;
9:30 a.m., Friday at 5:30 p.m., Saturdays at 5:30 p.m., Sundays at 3:30 p.m. 9:20 a.m. - Bristow Park;
9:30 a.m. - Bandini Park
Adopt-A-Pet Return to parks 1:30 p.m.
Mondays at 12 p.m., Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., Wednesdays at 4 p.m.,
Thursdays at 3 p.m. Fridays at 9 a.m., Saturdays at 6 p.m., Sundays at 8 p.m.

Cheap Eats
Mondays at 6 p.m., Tuesdays at 12 p.m., Wednesdays at 8 a.m.,
Thursdays at 6 p.m. or after City Council Meeting, Fridays at 6 p.m.,
Saturdays at 11:30 a.m., Sundays at 5:30 p.m.

Annual Twilight Dance Concert series
Mondays at 5 p.m., Tuesdays at 3 p.m., Wednesdays at 5 p.m., Thursdays at
3 p.m., Fridays at 3 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.

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