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Monday’s tragedy in San Bernardino will live on in the minds of students at North Park Elementary School for a long time—especially those who personally witnessed the shootings of their teacher, her assailant husband and two classmates.  


Cedric Anderson, 53, was estranged from his newlywed wife, Karen Elaine Smith, also 53.  Anderson came to her classroom, where she taught first to fourth graders, and without a word, shot her to death before turning the gun on himself.  Two students, also shot, were innocent bystanders, caught up in the domestic dispute. Eight year-old Jonathan Martinez died and a classmate is recovering in a nearby hospital.


The murder-suicide is horrific enough, but the damage done to the psyche of those children—all of them special needs—may last a lifetime.


What do you say to a child who has gone through something so devastating?  How can you help them to process the unfortunate reality of adults dealing with life through gun violence?


Psychologist Ben Martin offers tips for helping children to heal after experiencing mental and emotional trauma:


1.Listen to them.  Kids, like everyone else, need to vent.  They’re not looking for answers or judgment, only for someone to listen to them. Be that person that allows them to safely express their fears, sadness, insecurities and anger.


2.Reassure them that they are safe and that parents and friends, the school, police and community consider their safety a top priority.  Admit where adults may not have done everything right, but also assure them that police and school officials are working to change things.  If it is helpful, let them know what efforts are being made to insure their safety and keep them informed.


3.When dealing with younger children, keep your information limited and your words simple.  They need to be given information in a way that is meaningful and understandable to them. 


4.Be honest. Kids are smart and good at connecting the dots. If they ask whether they could possibly become a victim, do not lie. But do reiterate that adults are focused on preventing another shooting from happening.


5.Parents or caregivers should be cautious of permitting young children to watch news or listen to radio that is discussing or showing the situation, Martin says. “It is too difficult for most of them to process. Personal discussions are the best way to share information with this group. Also, plan to discuss this many times over the coming weeks,” he said.


6. If you’re concerned about your children and their reaction to this or any tragedy, talk directly with their school counselor, family doctor, or local mental health professional. Suggest to older children and teens to visit a resource, such as the teen-help website,, which provides anonymous and clinically-screened help and resources for teen problems before they become overwhelming.



Rams to host Cowboys, Chargers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and face Raiders, Packers on the road


The Los Angeles Rams announced on Wednesday their 2017 preseason schedule, which will kick off at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the Dallas Cowboys for the second-consecutive year. The team’s preseason slate also includes road contests in Oakland and Green Bay, and a nationally-televised home game against the Los Angeles Chargers.


The Cowboys, Raiders and Packers games will air locally on CBS 2, the home of Rams preseason football in English, and on KMEX Univision 34/KFTR UniMás 46 in Spanish. All Rams games can also be heard in English on ESPN LA 710 AM, with a full simulcast on 100.3 The Sound, and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes 1330AM. Specific dates and times for all of the preseason games will be announced at a later date.


“Our entire organization couldn’t be happier to open the preseason with our fans at the Coliseum,” Rams Head Coach Sean McVay said. “We play four quality opponents that will help us prepare for the regular season and this announcement is another reminder that we are one step closer to returning to football.”


Los Angeles Rams 2017 Preseason Schedule

Week 1 (Aug. 10-12) – Dallas Cowboys

Week 2 (Aug. 17-19) – @Oakland Raiders

Week 3 (Aug. 26, 5 p.m.) – Los Angeles Chargers*

Week 4 (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) – @Green Bay Packers

*CBS nationally-televised game


In last year’s preseason opener, the Rams defeated the Cowboys, 28-24, in their first game back in Los Angeles following a 22-year absence. The game was the most attended preseason game ever played on American soil, drawing nearly 90,000 fans. In their 25 all-time preseason games played, the Rams hold a 14-11 advantage.


In Week 2, Los Angeles will travel to the East Bay to take on the Oakland Raiders. Their all-time preseason series stands at 12-7 in favor of Oakland. Their last preseason meeting occurred in 2015.


CBS will broadcast the Rams’ Week 3 matchup against the Chargers on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 5 p.m. The nationally-televised game marks the first time since 1994 that two Los Angeles teams will face off in preseason action. The Chargers are the Rams’ most frequented preseason opponent, with their all-time series record tied at 18-18. This year’s contest is their first preseason meeting since 2007.


The Rams close out their preseason slate with the franchise’s first preseason visit to Lambeau Field. The Rams and Packers previously played five times in preseason action with the Packers leading the series, 3-2. In their most recent preseason matchup, the Packers defeated the Rams, 21-7, in 2014. 


For information about Rams season tickets or single-game tickets, fans may visit




Jesus Belzunce on 


Is it Time to Boycott United?

Friday, April 14, 2017

By Veronica Mackey

Video of a bloody-faced man being dragged off a United Airlines flight for refusing to give up

his seat—a seat he paid for—has lots of folks thinking twice before giving the airline their money.


It all happened on Sunday on a flight from Chicago to Louisville. United wanted to make room for 4 of its employees, but the plane was filled to capacity. After offering financial compensation with no takers, officials chose 4 people at random to give up their seats.  Three left willingly. One man, who said he was a doctor and needed to see patients, did not.


Soon afterward, United cops stepped in and forcibly removed the man, hitting his face against an armrest in the process. It was a horrific scene as passengers begged them to stop, and recorded the incident on their cell phones.


Making matters worse, United CEO Oscar Munoz blamed the passenger, and described him as “uncooperative and belligerent.”  Initially, Munoz apologized not for having the man forcibly removed but for having to “re-accommodate these customers.”   


What that man experienced was far from anything that resembles accommodation.  Any of us on any given day might be less than cooperative, especially if we are told to leave the plane after we’ve already paid for the seat.  This is an airline company.  They fly planes all day long.  Couldn’t they put their employees on another, less crowded flight, or send them by bus? 


It took a social media firestorm, threats to boycott and a public relations nightmare for Munoz to change his tune and come back with a more humane sounding apology:


“Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight…No one should ever be mistreated this way,” he said.


Getting bumped for a flight is not uncommon, but it will usually (or should) happen before you come onboard. Barring any unacceptable behavior, once you buckle up, you have a right to expect a safe, pleasant journey.


This unfortunate incident comes just two weeks after three teenage girls were not allowed to fly on United because they were wearing leggings.


Is it time to boycott United? 


In an article on Newster, journalists chimed in about the ever declining culture of air travel. Los Angeles Times reporter Michael Hiltzik said laws allow the airlines to get away with behavior that would be unacceptable in other industries:


 "How many businesses do you know of that can sell you a good or service, accept payment, and then withdraw that good or service unilaterally for their own purposes—much less by force?"


For an airline that brands itself, “the friendly skies,” there seems nothing friendly at all about United.


By Veronica Mackey


It was a clear victory for Councilman George Dotson Tuesday night as he retained his seat in District 1 on the Inglewood City Council, capturing  65.7% of votes. Maxine Toler came in a distant second with 26.1%, followed by Leroy Fisher with 6.6% and Hugo Ramirez with 1.5%.  


District 2 Councilman Alex Padilla ran unopposed.  


“I am so grateful for a chance to have 4 more years in the city of Inglewood,” Dotson said beaming.  “I want to see our city continue to grow and develop.  I want to see the senior center open in November. We are well on our way.”


With re-election behind him, Dotson is looking forward to seeing the new Inglewood emerge, a city that he described as “one of the greatest small cities in America.”


The development of downtown Inglewood, located in his district, is something Dotson has been waiting for a long time.  “I can’t wait to get started with the D3 lot at the corner of La Brea and Florence.  That mixed-use development is really going to break up Market Street and bring new development downtown,” Dotson said.


The Election Night victory was spent with a full house of well wishers—which included Mayor James Butts, and council colleagues—at the headquarters office, 401 Hillcrest Avenue, Suite A.  “It made me feel like a winner before I knew I was the winner,” he said. 


Voter turnout was low, which is, unfortunately, typical of Inglewood. 


“We have 69,000 plus registered voters and less than 3,500 people voted citywide. Just 4.8%.  I don’t know what else we can do to change that.”


In the school board race, Dionne Faulk defeated Odest Riley, Jr. for Seat 1 with 66.1 percent of votes. Carliss McGhee ran unopposed in the school board race for Seat 2, as did Ngaue Tu’uholoaki for Seat 3.


Inglewood voters also said yes to Measure DE.  The Inglewood City Charter Amendment will allow Inglewood city schools to change the method of election of the Board of Education.





Asm. Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) has recently introduced legislation which would boost the learning potential of California students and promote lifelong health by requiring comprehensive eye exams upon starting school.  


AB 1110, co-authored by Asm. Evan Low (D-Campbell) and Sens. Andy Vidak (R-Visalia) and Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), is necessary at a time when one in four children and adolescents have a vision problem that can impede their learning, but current school-based vision tests fail to identify one-third of them.


“Children can’t learn when they can’t see the blackboard clearly,” said Asm. Burke.  “This bill helps connect children with care to prevent or correct eye and vision problems that are the number one cause of childhood disability. Because insurers are already required to provide no-cost eye exams and glasses to children, this bill is the most significant investment in our children’s health and education.”


Vision tests currently administered in schools are not sufficient to detect disorders such as binocular vision deficiencies that can impede reading, nor do they look into the eye for serious concerns like diabetes or eye cancers.  Only a comprehensive eye exam, administered by a physician or optometrist, can detect the full range of disorders that affect children’s learning and screen for significantly disabling conditions.


“It’s common to see young patients struggle to read even after ‘passing’ a school eye test, but with proper diagnosis and glasses if needed, school performance often improves right away,” said Sage Hider, O.D., President, California Optometric Association. “Today’s computer-based society places a large demand on California’s student’s eyes in the classroom and at home. We need to give our students the tools to succeed by opening a lifetime of clear sight and overall health.”


The Affordable Care Act guaranteed children a no-cost comprehensive eye exam and glasses, underscoring the crucial role of eye health in an overall preventive approach to healthcare.   Yet many parents are unaware of this benefit or the crucial role comprehensive eye exams play in their children’s health. AB 1110 is sponsored by the State Board of Optometry and strongly supported by the California Optometric Association.


“Too many parents aren’t aware of the role eye exams play in overall health, or that these comprehensive exams are available at no cost to the patient through health plans; this bill will help change that.  Especially in communities where health costs and barriers to care put extra burdens on families, this bill will create opportunities for our students to live well and learn. At the same time, it respects parents’ choices, and imposes no opt-out penalties,” said Jessica Sieferman, Executive Officer, California State Board of Optometry.


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