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In this issue: Senior Rent Subsidy Program, Refuse-to-energy Facility, Commerce Flower and more!

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Published by City of Commerce, 2018-06-18 14:49:47

Commerce Connerction June Magazine

In this issue: Senior Rent Subsidy Program, Refuse-to-energy Facility, Commerce Flower and more!

Keywords: Commerce Connerction June magazine

As summer approaches, we encourage you high technology engineering and foundry

and your family to participate in the many manufacturing company in Newport Beach.

programs, events, and With the arrival of

activities that the City summer we want to

offers. This month, resi- make sure everyone

dents can register for keeps cool during

Camp Commerce, Sum- days with extreme

mer Day Camp and Swim temperatures. City

Lessons, to name a few. facilities are available

These programs are for the public to cool

incredibly popular and off during regular busi-

will fill up quickly, so do ness hours, which

not forget to sign up early. includes the park and

One of the most popu- library buildings at

lar City program during Bandini, Bristow,

the summer is the Com- Rosewood and Veter-

merce Public Library’s ans Parks; the Senior

Summer Reading Pro- Center; and the Teen

gram, which will be start- Center. The City offers

ing this month. This children’s spray pools

program is open to at all four City parks,

children, teens, and as well as recreational

adults and is an excellent swimming at the

way to promote reading Brenda Villa Aquatic

and literacy to the com- Center. For more infor-

munity. The program is mation, call the

free to join and the vari- Brenda Villa Aquatics

ous events are free to Center at (323) 887-

attend. Check out the New Human Resources Director Ela Pappo 4404.

library’s website at June is also when to learn more about this we acknowledge and honor fathers and

Is a monthly magazine published by the delightful program. school graduates. Don’t forget to take time
City of Commerce and mailed to
We are pleased to welcome our new to acknowledge and appreciate your dad,
Commerce residents. The Connection is
also available at all City facilities. Human Resources Director Ela Pappo to the stepdad, or any other father figure in your life.

Editor City of Commerce. Pappo brings more than Also, congratulations to all the graduates out
Lena Shumway
10 years of human resources experience. there; you did it. The City wishes you good
Staff Writers/Photographers
Daniel Larios Most recently, Pappo was employed by a luck on the road ahead.
Marie Hovik
Update What does this mean for Commerce?
Graphic Design Layout & Illustrator
Anthony Aguilar The Department of Toxic Substances DTSC has identified 930 properties
Control (DTSC) was assigned the task affected by Exide within the Bandini and
To submit a story idea or a high of sampling 10,129 properties within a Bristow area. There are 795 properties that
definition digital photo for 1.7 mile radius of the former Exide facility in have had their soil sampled, while the
publishing consideration, Vernon, and clean up as many as 2,500 remaining 135 locations have not granted
please contact the properties with the highest levels of lead in access to their properties. Of the 2,500
Public Information Office the soil and the greatest risk of exposure with properties scheduled for cleanup, 63 have
323-887-4453 the $176.6 million appropriated by Governor been selected in Commerce. Recently, two
[email protected] Brown in 2016. daycare cleanups in Commerce were completed. The DTSC informed the City that
Currently, the DTSC has entered into a 10 more properties will be cleaned, but has
2 Connection contract with National Engineering and not yet conveyed the locations.
Consulting Group Inc. (NEC) to conduct tar-
geted cleanups, under a process known as Residents who have questions can call the
Time Critical Removal Actions (TCRA’s). The DTSC Exide Cleanup Project Information
contractor began cleanup of 215 properties Hotline at (844) 225-3887. DTSC
last month. The partnership with NEC will representatives are also available to answer
allow DTSC to work on executing a contract questions at the DTSC Commerce Office
to address the cleanup of the rest of the located at 6119 E. Washington Blvd, Suite
2,500 properties. 120.

Certificate of Recognition presented to Elisa Padilla for bringing awareness to the significance Proclamation designating April 24, 2018 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the
of voluntary organ donation. City of Commerce.

MAY 1, 2018 Landscape Improvement on Astor Avenue at Couts Avenue, and Astor
Avenue at Como Street. The wide-open intersections posed safety con-
Approved the proposed traffic improvements on Ferguson Drive con- cerns for the community. The report included a number of recommen-
sisting of new signage and red curb markings to increase overall safety dations for traffic calming measures to restrict street racing and other
and reduce traffic congestion. illegal activities. Staff developed landscape schemes that would en-
Awarded a contract to Mr. C's Towing of South Gate, Inc. to provide hance safety, beautify the area, as well as accommodate parking.
police-dispatched towing services and towing services for City Received an update on Ad Hoc Committee input and staff research and
vehicles. activities regarding parking on Fitzgerald Avenue.
Authorized the City Administrator to negotiate the cost with California Received a presentation/analysis regarding recreational and oversized
Clean Energy Authority to perform a technical feasibility study for a vehicles used for dwelling purposes and parked and/or stored on public
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program. A CCA program right-of-ways. Council directed staff to research the issue and bring rec-
provides the City greater control over electricity supply and provides ommended option to resolve resources associated with RVs.
the City with an opportunity to create a comprehensive sustainability
plan, which includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing
local renewable energy generation, and increasing local job creation.
Awarded the construction contract to Marjani Builders, Inc. for Veter-
ans Park Gym Area for interim use for the recreational activities Per
council direction, City staff along with consultants found ways to put
some of the building back in service. The indoor gym part of the build-
ing is considered for interim repair and use in order to provide the
Crush volleyball team with the ability to start practice this season.

APRIL 17 , 2018 Recognized volunteers for their dedicated service to the Food Distribution Program.

Approved an agreement with Rick Larson, DBA Wold Amusements, Connection 3
Inc. for carnival services for the Independence Day Celebration at
Rosewood Park.
Approved an agreement with Pyro Spectaculars, Inc. for the 4th of July
pyrotechnic display at Rosewood Park.
Approved Plans and Specifications for Astor Avenue Medians and

Michelle IbarraPrincessProfile:
Miss Dodgers/Miss Friendship


Wins EPIC Award Miss Dodgers 2018 Michelle Ibarra hosted the annual Commu-
nity Dodger Night in April and considered it one of the most
The Commerce Connection just turned eight months old and is memorable nights of her life. Ibarra is a big sports fan who
already an award-winning publication. In April, the Commerce always cheers for the Dodgers and the Lakers whenever she can. She
Connection received the California Association of Public admires the Dodgers because of their drive and determination.
Information Officials (CAPIO) Excellence in Public Information and
Communications (EPIC) Award in the “Graphics Design” category. “Sometimes they may not have a good game but that doesn't stop
them from coming back to the next one stronger and better,” she said.
The 2018 CAPIO EPIC Award was presented at the CAPIO “They were so close to winning the World Series last year and some-
statewide conference in Santa Rosa on April 11. thing tells me this might be their year.”

“It’s an honor to receive such a prestigious award recognizing the Ibarra was not only crowned Miss Dodgers during the Miss
tremendous work and dedication that the Public information Office Commerce Pageant, she was also crowned Miss Friendship, a title
puts towards our monthly magazine,” said Graphics Coordinator given to her by her fellow contestants for being an all-around friendly
Anthony Aguilar. “The Connection is a labor of love to our residents, and pleasant person during the pageant process.
businesses and visitors. The award received is in Graphic Design
category and this was a collaborative effort of the entire depart- “Someone might be having a bad day but just smiling at them or
ment.“ asking about their day can really brighten up their mood,” she said. “I
think sometimes we are so caught up in our own lives that we tend to
The Commerce Connection replaced “The Report to the People,” forget to be kind to others and disregard their feelings. Not only that
which has been a reliable and informative source of community but being friendly has given me the chance to get to know some
news since 1960. However, “The Report to the People” needed to amazing people.”
undergo a complete redesign in terms of size and style, informative,
clear and concise writing, professional-quality photographs, and “I want to continue helping my community in any way possible and
dynamic graphic designs. Everything from content to graphic design be able to meet many more people along the way,” she added.
is done in-house by City staff.

The results of the improved design and content, new changes
were positive and exceeded expectations for increasing readership,
and developing a more informed citizenry.

Digital copies of Connection are available on the City’s website.
If you would like to submit a story idea for publishing consideration
in the Connection, please call the Public Information Office at 323-
887-4453 or email [email protected]

4 Connection

For Commerce seniors like Louis Arellano, the
City’s Senior Rent Subsidy Housing Program is
a way to help alleviate the burden of their
monthly rent.

In an effort to help more seniors like Arellano and
provide them a better quality of life, the City of
Commerce is reestablishing the Senior Rent Subsidy
Housing Program, opening it up to new applicants so
that more people can get the help they need in making
ends meet.
The Senior Rent Subsidy program was created in the
1980s but ended in 2011 when the State took away
cities’ redevelopment funds. To help seniors, the City
established a 2-year temporary Senior Subsidy
program using City’s funds to cover the cost of the

“The program has been very good to me, I’ve got no
complaints,” said Arellano, who receives $200 a month
from the program that goes towards his rent. “Thanks
to the program, I get to stay here in my home,
Commerce. I’m not going to move anytime soon.”

Federal statistics shows that a quarter of the
country’s senior citizens are living in poverty, which
makes it hard to meet monthly expenses and creates
housing problems. Social Security checks top out
around $2,500 a month for a fully qualified recipient
drawing at age 66, but many low-income people don’t
qualify for much more than $1,000. In addition, afford-
able housing in Commerce is not that readily available,
making it hard for seniors to stay in Commerce.

According to a city official, “Housing is one of the
most important issues today and by reopening this

program, we are providing those living on a fixed in-
come an opportunity to live their lives without fear
of missing a rent payment and possible eviction.”
The City also devotes funding every year to
help seniors with transportation and other
social programs. “The City is compassionate,
we don’t turn our backs on seniors,” said the
City Official.
To be eligible for the program, applicants
must be from a low or very low income
household consisting of a person 57 years
or older and provide proof of residency for at
least three years in the City of Commerce.
Applicants can receive up to $250 that is paid
directly to the landlord by the City. Landlords
who agree to participate in the program must
allow a yearly inspection of the apartment unit
and to maintain rents at or below Section 8 rental
limits for L.A. County.

In addition to the Senior Rent Subsidy Program, the
City has established a moratorium on rent increases
throughout this year to protect low-income senior renters.
For more information or to obtain an application, contact
Moyra Garcia in the Public Safety and Community Services
Department at (323) 722-4805.

Connection 5

Summer Reading Program Children’s Book Week Puppet Shows
Schedule for June:
Kick-Off Show: The Commerce Library’s Summer Reading Program (SRP)
is a fun way to help children retain or improve their reading
“Laughter Takes You Everywhere” Comedy Juggler Michael Rayner skills over the summer break – and it is completely free!
Saturday, June 16 Children can earn prizes for reading and everyone is invited
10:00 AM at Commerce Senior Center to attend fun family shows and programs available at all of
the Commerce Libraries. Registration for the SRP begins
“Music Takes You Everywhere” Musical Storyteller Georgette Baker Monday, June 18 at your local library. Once registered,
6:00 PM children can earn prizes for reading. The Children’s Summer
June 18 Rosewood Library Reading Program is free and open to children from the age
June 19 Bandini Library of four through fifth grade. The library also offers a Tiny Tots
June 20 Veterans Library Summer Reading program for children up to 3 years old.
June 21 Bristow Park Library
“Sing Along with Peanut” - Songs in Different Languages
11:30 AM Join us for this year’s Summer Reading Program! We’ll have
June 27 Rosewood Library cool crafts, weekly raffles (for those who complete their read-
ing), and special events, including a movie, field trip, and
Free Summer Lunch for Ages 4 – 18 paint night!

The City of Commerce Social Services Division is partnering with the FREE & OPEN TO ALL TEENS
Los Angeles Food Bank to provide free, nutritious lunches for children Grades 6-12
and teens ages 5 to 18 years old from June 18 to August 10. Lunch will Travel Mug Craft
be provided Monday through Thursdays at Bristow Park from 11 a.m. Come join us in decorating your own personalized travel
to noon and Veterans Park from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. mug.
3:00 PM
Kids under 5 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Adults June 25: Bandini Library
18+ who are special needs are also eligible. Lunches are served on a June 26: Bristow Library
first-come, first-served basis and is open to all, no resident cards June 27: Veterans Library
required. June 28: Rosewood Library

6 Connection Lunch & a Movie
(*Sign-ups required)
2:00 PM
June 29: Rosewood Library


Sign up for this year’s Summer Reading Program and try
something new this summer: at home, in the community,
throughout the country, and the globe. Read a new book,
listen to new music, meet new people, and learn about new
places with our Summer Reading Passport. Registration
begins on Monday, June 18th.

Dinner and a Movie
Join us for dinner and a movie, featuring the film “Chef.”
Spanish subtitles will be displayed.
(*Registration required)
5:30 PM
June 28: Rosewood Library


After more than 30 years in operation, the Commerce Refuse-to-Energy Facility
will be closing its doors at the end of June. In 1981, when the City and the
Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County collaborated to build the plant, it
was viewed as an innovative solution to waste management at a time when it was
believed that a shortage of landfills was imminent.

The state-of-the-art plant, which was the first of its kind in California, was
designed to burn refuse which would create steam. The steam would turn a
turbine generator to produce electricity, which would be used to power
thousands of households. The plant has the distinction of being the first facility
in the world to use sophisticated air pollution control devices approved by
the South Coast Air Quality Management District; meaning the plant’s
emissions were closely monitored.

Even before the plant began operating in 1987, there was concern over
the facility's potential impact on the air quality, especially for those living or
working in close proximity. According to a February 1, 1989 Los Angeles
Times article, the Air Quality Management District cited the plant repeatedly
for exceeding air pollution limits.

To resolve the problem, the Sanitation Districts committed to spending
$600,000 to improve the plant’s air pollution control equipment. The problem
was resolved and the plant not only functioned as planned, but went on to garner
four national awards for its operations, management and technology. Throughout
the years, thousands of people from almost every state and from several countries
have toured the Refuse-to-Energy Facility to learn about this technological marvel.

“In its 31 years of operation, the Facility provided an innovative waste disposal al-
ternative for Commerce and other nearby communities,” said Project Manager Matt
Eaton. “By providing a local disposal option, it saved the equivalent landfill space
of eight Rose Bowls and millions of truck miles were reduced on local

“In addition, the energy produced by the Facility
reduced the use of fossil fuels at nearby power
plants,” he added.

For 30 years, the Facility sold its electricity to
Southern California Edison under a contractual
agreement. Now that the contract has concluded,
the plant can no longer sustain itself and will be
ceasing its operations in June 2018. It will take an
additional two years for cleanup, packing and
dismantling equipment. The more than 10,000
homes which received electricity from the plant will
be supplied with power from another viable

Connection 7


are Here to Stay

If you have ever searched the library’s catalog, you have likely seen the
work of Database Specialist Angela Carbajal who is responsible for inputting
the data which enables library patrons to find the items they are seeking.

Carbajal does not process the library’s vast acquisitions alone; other staff
affixes stickers with information such as call numbers and barcodes. All

Javier children’s books are labeled with a reading level and even a sticker remind-
ing children to wash their hands and to keep the book clean. Despite the
Hernandez stickers, occasionally books, both adults’ and children’s, are returned with
food stains, gum and warped pages from liquid being spilled on them.
Javier Hernandez has been
nominated for an Older When books and magazines require meticulous repairing from wear and
American Recognition tear or mishaps, Library Assistant Gloria Valenzuela who has been perform-
award. Every May, the Los ing repair work since the 1980s, takes charge. Occasionally, the damage is
Angeles County Commission deliberate; surprisingly, in this age of cell phone cameras and internet, some
for Older Adults presents the patrons tear out pages from magazines.
award to the community’s
older residents who exemplify the With so many books and magazines now accessible via digital format,
spirit of volunteerism. does the library plan to phase out its actual items?
You have probably seen Hernandez around town: He
helps keep the city safe in his role as a ComCat, assists the Technical Services Supervisor Edward Hernandez does not believe the
Social Services Division with their monthly Food Distribution library’s collection will be going all digital anytime soon. “The library will
Program and is an L.A. County Regional Food Bank always have tangible items in the collection since books and DVDs are the
program volunteer at the Seniors Center. Hernandez, who preferred format over digital media by Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers and
is also a Traffic Commissioner, serves on some of the City’s Millennials,” he said. Digital media is easy to use, but printed books, as
civic organizations as well. several studies show, are proven to afford better concentration and focus,
Although Hernandez has been volunteering for the Food and therefore, still the preferred media for a lot of patrons. It is hard to
Distribution Program for less than two years, he has estab- dismiss the pleasure of turning pages, the sense of accomplishment when
lished himself as a valuable volunteer. “Javier is a hard you can see how much you have read and the nostalgia factor. Library staff
worker, very helpful and has a fantastic attitude,” said Social is committed to offering both digital and print media to accommodate all
Services Coordinator Ed Saucedo. patrons’ needs.
A 16-year resident, Hernandez says he likes the City’s
“great programs” because he knows they benefit
residents. “In reality, this city is the Model City”
he said.

8 Connection


Commerce Flowers
2340 S. Atlantic Blvd. Commerce CA 90040

FLOWERS is Still

When Duke Nomura opened his flower Commerce Flowers, Nomura boasts, is op- them like family,” he said.
shop in Commerce 40 years ago, he erated in a family-oriented environment. As is The City of Commerce has always been
was following a family tradition. His the case in most small communities, customers
mother opened her flower shop in 1930 and are often related to each other or know each conducive to creating and maintaining a
the family has been in the floral business ever other. Additionally, bonds tend to form easily familial environment, but owning a business in
since. Commerce yields other advantages. Nomura
when spending decades transacting business stated that one of the benefits of his business
Commerce Flowers is a thriving business with the same company. Commerce Flowers is location is the close proximity to the flower
serving the needs of Commerce and a business where Nomura insists that all of his market, which he must drive to daily. He also
surrounding communities whose demands customers, whether he has known them for likes being located in a city with an excellent
increase during the holidays with Valentine’s generations or not, receive outstanding service. reputation, with its powerful name and strong
Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas, keeping “I don’t care where they come from, we treat standing in California.
the staff of 10 or so employees extra busy.
Customers always receive individual,
Nomura notes that Commerce customers personalized service to ensure they get the
often request fuchsia-colored bougainvillea, arrangements they want, but they do not pay
which happens to be the City’s official flower! extra for that service as Nomura does not
The business also furnishes floral arrange- believe in overcharging his customers.
ments for weddings and other functions in Los
Angeles area including San Fernando, Because Nomura owns the property and the
Orange County, Pasadena, Beverly Hills and building that houses his business, he can
other cities. While there are other, closer charge reasonable prices. He does not think
florists in those cities, customers choose to go passing the savings on to his customers is
out of their way to conduct their floral business particularly altruistic, though. He views the
with Commerce Flowers. Business is floral business as more like a service because
undoubtedly good: the company recently customers typically buy flowers to give them
handled seven weddings happening on the to someone else.
same weekend!
“It’s just a hometown flower shop, it’s for the
people,” he explains.

Connection 9

Garden Show Dance Recital

The Recreation Jazz I class was one of the dance groups which performed at the Dance Recital held
at the Commerce Hotel & Casino.

Attendees were able to see a wide variety of plants and flowers on display Student Government Day
at this year’s Garden Show.
Local high school students spent the day learning about their local government and how it functions.

Escape Room Spring Cleanup

Library patrons work together to find clues that will help them learn which librarian Girl Scouts helped plant flowers in Rosewood Park as part of the Spring Cleanup event held
“locked” them in the library. in April.

10 Connection



SMT W T FS SMT W T FS SMT W T FS Teen Book Club Camp Commerce
12345 67 1 2 34 1 Rosewood Library Registration
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 234 5 6 7 8 4 p.m. Council Chambers
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 8 a.m.
29 30 31 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Teen Advisory
26 27 28 29 30 31 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Rosewood Library
5 p.m.

Father Daughter Dance
6 p.m.

345 6 7 8 9

Youth Advisory Hecho a Mano Senior Citizens Hecho a Mano Video Games Swim Lesson
Commission Rosewood Library Commission Veterans Library Rosewood Library Registration
7 p.m. 12:30 p.m.
11 a.m. 5:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 8 a.m.

City Council Meeting Hecho a Mano Parks and Recreation Teen Book Club
6 p.m. Rosewood Library Commission Rosewood Library
6 p.m.
6 p.m. 4 p.m.

Rabies Clinic Teen Advisory
Rosewood Park Rosewood Library

6:30 p.m. 5 p.m.

10 11 12 13 14 15 16

17 Education Commission Measure AA Meeting Video Games Flag Day Teen Book Club Reading Program
6 p.m. 6 p.m. Veterans Library Rosewood Library Kick-Off
Father's Day Popotillo Program
4 p.m. Bandini Library 4 p.m. Senior Center
24 5 p.m. 10 a.m.
Hecho a Mano Operation Kid
Bristow Library Community Services Identification 23
6 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6 p.m. 30

Traffic Commission Abilities 2K Color Teen Art Workshop
6:30 p.m. Run/Walk Summer Fest Rosewood Library

6 p.m. 10 a.m.

18 19 20 21 22

Spray pools open City Council Meeting Video Games Summer Begins Movie Night
6 p.m. Bandini Library Rosewood Park
Summer Lunch Program Hecho a Mano
Begins 3:30 p.m. Bandini Library

Summer Reading Children’s Music Program 5:30 p.m.
Program Begins Veterans Library
6 p.m. Children’s Music Program
All Libraries Bristow Library
Special Needs 6 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

25 26 27 28 29

Teen Craft Teen Craft Children’s Music Show Teen Craft Children’s Art Workshop
Bandini Library Bristow Library Rosewood Library Rosewood Library Rosewood Library
11:30 a.m. 2 p.m.
3 p.m. 3 p.m. 3 p.m.
Teen Craft Teen Lunch and a Movie
Library Commission Spanish Book Club Veterans Library Dinner and a Movie Rosewood Library
6 p.m. Rosewood Library Rosewood Library 2 p.m.
City Hall & 3 p.m.
5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. Movie Night
Libraries Closed Planning Commission Bristow Park
I-710 Local Advisory Meeting
Committee 6:30 p.m.
6 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 The Woman’s Club of Rosewood Park

Aquatic Center 323-887-4404 SWAP MEET
Public Safety 323-887-4460 Saturday, June 16
Animal Control 323-887-4460 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Weekend/Evenings 562-940-6898 Rosewood Park
Calmet 562-259-1239
SCE St. Lights Out* 800-611-1911

Mayor Oralia Y. Rebollo *Provide Light Pole # for Report
Mayor Pro Tem Ivan Altamirano
Councilmember Hugo A. Argumedo E.L.A. Sheriff’s Dept. 323-264-4151
Councilmember Leonard Mendoza
Graffiti Hotline 323-887-4444
Councilmember John Soria
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 •

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