Yucca – A Poem by Diane Lang San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

October 29th, 2014

From bursting blades of dusty green
The yucca blooms but once.
Its spear-like leaves grow strong and thick,
Made for the driest months.
It waits long years for blossom time,
Which finally comes one spring,
And then it grows a foot a day
In one stupendous fling.
Then like a giant glowing flame,
A beacon on a hill,
It briefly shines with blossoms white,
Then is forever still.

Diane Lang’s poem celebrates the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument declaration by President Barack Obama. Yucca is her favorite plant in the San Gabriels. The poem is from her new book “Fur, Feather, Fin: All of Us Are Kin,” soon to be published by Simon & Schuster. Her prior book is “Vulture Verses.”

Click here for information on the San Gabriels in English and Spanish

Yucca plants in the San Gabriels

Yucca © Diane Lang

Los Angeles Business Council Mayoral Housing, Transportation and Jobs Summit Oct 29 7:30 – 2 UCLA

October 28th, 2014

LABC MHTJS Register Now 2014 r-8

NY Times 225th Anniversary US Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York Generations of Lawyers Gather

October 27th, 2014

On a balmy evening in Midtown Manhattan last month, the Plaza Hotel was the site of an unusual celebration — a glittery gala of the sort not normally associated with a government agency nearly as old as the country itself.

The agency, the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, was celebrating its 225th birthday . . . .

All told, more than 700 current and former assistant United States attorneys squeezed into the Plaza’s ballroom . . . .

The Southern District has long been jokingly referred to as the Sovereign District, a nod to its pre-eminence among the nation’s prosecutors’ offices, its independence from Washington and its willingness to jockey for cases with other districts. . . .

President Obama underscored the office’s influence in remarks included in a videotaped greeting, saying he relied daily on four Southern District alumni . . . .

“We all love the office, and that’s a true love that we carry for life,” E. Danya Perry . . . said of her former colleagues. . . .

One guest, Antonia M. Apps, who served as a prosecutor for nearly eight years, [said] “You leave with a tremendous sense of an obligation to do the right thing.”

SDNY 225 Don Nelken NYT 20141027

SDNY Plaza Ballroom Photo Dan Nelkin

Read the complete story “Generations of Lawyers Gather for a Reunion Like No Other” in the New York Times . . .

 AUSA Robert Garcia SDNY Sentry Armored Courier trial before Judge Edward Weinfeld

AUSA Robert García Southern District of New York Sentry Armored Courier trial before Judge Edward Weinfeld 1985


Go Stanford! Brown v Board @ 60, Civil Rights Act @ 50, Environmental Justice and Health Order 12898 @ 20

October 24th, 2014

Looking Back and Moving Forward: The Civil Rights Movement and Stanford

“Distinguished alumni civil rights champions Robert Garcia ‘74, JD ’78, and Gerald Torres ‘74 discuss the lead-up to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, what this transformative legislation meant for the country and for Stanford, and how the commitments embodied in the Act continue to inspire and animate the next generation of change agents.”

The Civil Rights panel will be Friday afternoon at 3:15-4:15pm on October 24, on the Quad, Building 300 (Language Corner), Room 300.

Robert Garcia (BA ’74, JD ’78) is the Found Director and Counsel of The City Project, a non-profit legal and policy advocacy team based in Los Angeles that works at the intersection of equal justice, public health, and the built environment. Garcia worked on the case of Black Panther leader Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, defended Death Row prisoners in Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi, is on the faculty at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, and has taught at Stanford and UCLA Law Schools.

Gerald Torres (BA ’74, JD Yale ’77) is a leading figure in critical race theory, environmental law and federal Indian Law. Currently a professor of Law at Cornell University, Torres has taught at the law schools of the University of Texas and the University of Minnesota. He served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and as counsel to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.

Transit to Trails San Gabriel Mountains

October 23rd, 2014


Spotting a western gray squirrel

Northeast Los Angeles youth and their families and friends took Transit to Trails to the San Gabriels led by Steve Barretto, a volunteer for and retired ranger from the United States Forest Service.


Touching a snake for the first time, held by US Forest Service volunteer Steve Barretto

Transit to Trails is creative partnership between Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), National Park Service, Anahuak Youth Sports Association and The City Project. It is a best practice to engage urban youth and their families and friends in fun, healthy, educational trips, take people to parks now, lead to meaningful work, and provide environmental justice stewards for generations to come.

“Too many children in L.A.County, especially children of color, don’t have access to parks where they can run free, breathe fresh air, experience nature, and learn about their environment,” as President Barack Obama recognized in designating the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. “This is an issue of social justice. Because it’s not enough to have this awesome natural wonder within your sight -– you have to be able to access it,” the President said. Transit to Trails is part of the solution to provide access.

Indian Country Today Obama Presidential Proclamation “to preserve and protect Indian sacred sites”

October 22nd, 2014

“Known as the crown to the Valley of Angels, the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains frame the Los Angeles skyline. . . . The rich cultural history of these mountains echoes their striking geologic features and ecological diversity. Cultural resources represent successive layers of history, including that of Native Americans, Spanish missionaries and colonialists, Mexican rancheros, and Euro-American settlers and prospectors. Native American history runs deep, at least 8,000 years, exemplified by the Aliso-Arrastre Special Interest Area known for its heritage resource values, including several rock art and cupules features, the concentration of which is unique to southern California. Due to urban development and natural processes, this area also contains the best preserved example of a Gabrielino pictograph that characterizes the California Tradition of rock painting. . . . [The management plan for the monument] shall protect and preserve Indian sacred sites . . . and access by Indian tribal members for traditional cultural, spiritual, and tree and forest product-, food-, and medicine-gathering purposes.” Presidential Proclamation — San Gabriel Mountains National Monument October 10, 2014 Robert Bracamontes, Acjachemen, Nican Tlaca, writes: “To see those words in writing used by the President in the proclamation, “to preserve and protect sacred sites,” brings me a great sense of hope. We are on Gabrielino / Tongva land. For indigenous people the land gives us food, a place to play peon, a place where we are put to rest in peace, a place for ceremony, a place where life and culture are one. We need our land, we need to protect it for future generations.” http://www.cityprojectca.org/blog/archives/34021.

“Too many children in L.A.County, especially children of color, don’t have access to parks where they can run free, breathe fresh air, experience nature, and learn about their environment.” President Barack Obama San Gabriel National Monument Dedication

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/10/14/obama-designates-san-gabriel-mountains-national-monument-157328


L.A. River Camp Out Bowtie Project

October 21st, 2014

la river bowtie campout 20141018

Local youth and families took part in the second L.A. River camp out at the Bowtie Project with California State Parks, National Park Service, US Forest Service, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Clockshop, The City Project, and Anahuak Youth Sports Association as part of River revitalization on October 18-19, 2014.

Sean Woods, Superintendent, Los Angeles Sector, California State Parks, with Milo Woods and Stephanie Campbell, Associate Park and Recreation Specialist

NY Times’ Own Editorial in Spanish La Impresionante Contribución de Cuba en la Lucha Contra el Ébola / Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola; Fidel Hour of Duty Hora del Deber

October 20th, 2014

The New York Times for the first time has published its own editorial in Spanish, in a historic moment that is as important for the Times as praising Cuba: “Leer en Español (Read in Spanish) » / Leer en Inglés (Read in English) »

Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola

While the United States and several other wealthy countries have been happy to pledge funds, only Cuba and a few nongovernmental organizations are offering what is most needed: medical professionals in the field. . . .

Cuban doctorsassumed the lead role in treating cholera patients in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake in 2010. Some returned home sick, and then the island had its first outbreak of cholera in a century. An outbreak of Ebola on the island could pose a far more dangerous risk and increase the odds of a rapid spread in the Western Hemisphere.

Cuba has a long tradition of dispatching doctors and nurses to disaster areas abroad. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Cuban government created a quick-reaction medical corps and offered to send doctors to New Orleans. The United States, unsurprisingly, didn’t take Havana up on that offer. Yet officials in Washington seemed thrilled to learn in recent weeks that Cuba had activated the medical teams for missions in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

La Impresionante Contribución de Cuba en la Lucha Contra el Ébola

Aunque Estados Unidos y otros países han ofrecido su disposición a contribuir dinero, únicamente Cuba y unas pocas organizaciones no gubernamentales están proporcionando lo que se necesita con mayor urgencia: profesionales médicos dispuestos a atender pacientes.

Médicos cubanos desempeñaron el rol principal en la lucha contra el cólera en Haití, después del terremoto de 2010. Cuando algunos regresaron enfermos a Cuba, la isla tuvo que combatir el primer brote de la enfermedad en un siglo. Si el ébola llegara a Cuba, representaría un desafío más serio para la isla y la región, lo que elevaría el riesgo de que se dispare el número de casos en el hemisferio.

Cuba ha enviado médicos y enfermeros a zonas de desastre durante décadas. Luego del huracán Katrina en 2005, el Gobierno en La Habana ofreció enviar a equipos médicos para atender heridos en Nueva Orleans. Líderes estadounidenses rechazaron ese ofrecimiento. Pero se alegraron al oír, en días recientes, que Cuba estuviera movilizando un grupo para misiones en Sierra Leona, Liberia y Guinea.

Meanwhile Fidel Castro writes in Granma:

We will happily cooperate with U.S. personnel in this task, not in search of peace between these two states which have been adversaries for so many years, but rather, in any event, for World Peace, an objective which can and should be attempted. The hour of duty has arrived.

Gustosamente cooperaremos con el personal norteamericano en esa tarea, y no en búsqueda de la paz entre los dos Estados que han sido adversarios durante tantos años sino, en cualquier caso, por la Paz para el Mundo, un objetivo que puede y debe intentarse. . . . Ha llegado la hora del deber.

Habana 2010

Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, Habana, Cuba

American Public Health Association Trip 2010

La Opinion Barack Obama Op/Ed Una protección para futuras generaciones Las montañas brindan a muchos niños, especialmente hispanos, un esparcimiento natural

October 20th, 2014


Una protección para futuras generaciones / Las montañas brindan a muchos niños, especialmente hispanos, un esparcimiento natural
Por: Barack Obama

PUBLICADO: OCT, 19, 2014 12:01 AM EST

Obama sgmnm 20141010

[Photo CC The City Project / Robert García]

Hace 150 años, el Presidente Lincoln firmó una ley que cambió para siempre la manera en que conservamos nuestra herencia natural. En el momento habrá parecido ser algo extraño. Estábamos en medio de la Guerra Civil. El destino de nuestra unión pendía de un hilo. El mismo Lincoln jamás había estado en California; por una gran parte de su vida, su estado natal de Illinois era el oeste.

Pero descripciones, dibujos y hasta algunas tempranas fotografías del Valle de Yosemite habían llegado al este, como llegaron historias del desarrollo invasor que amenazaba el área. Entonces el presidente Lincoln decidió ayudar a proteger un lugar que nunca había visitado, para una nación que tal vez no pudiera salvar. En los días más oscuros, él decidió apostar en un futuro que él nunca iba a poder ver. Y debido a que lo hizo, generaciones de personas que viven en Estados Unidos conocieron las maravillas del Parque Nacional Yosemite.

Es por eso que, la semana pasada, visité California para designar como Monumento Nacional a las Montañas de San Gabriel. Esta acción protegerá de manera permanente 346,000 acres de escarpadas pendientes y cañones remotos que son el hogar de una extraordinaria diversidad de vida silvestre y que atrae a más de tres millones de visitantes todos los años, más que íconos como el Monte Rushmore y el Parque Nacional Grand Teton.

Lo que es más, las Montañas de San Gabriel contiene milenos de historia, desde el antiguo arte rupestre de los nativos americanos al observatorio el Monte Wilson donde Edwin P. Hubble mostró que el universo está en constante expansión y donde los astrónomos exploran actualmente el espacio.

De muchas maneras, la historia de las Montañas de San Gabriel es la historia de Estados Unidos. Es la historia de las comunidades que viven en el gran oeste, de nativos americanos y misionarios españoles, de colonialistas y rancheros, de mercaderes y terratenientes. Es la historia de exploradores en búsqueda de oro; de los que están en búsqueda de una nueva vida.

Esa historia sigue en la actualidad, y la está escribiendo una de nuestras comunidades más vibrantes y diversas muy cerca a la segunda ciudad más grande del país. Más de quince millones de personas viven dentro de 90 minutos de las Montañas de San Gabriel. Las montañas proporcionan a los residentes aproximadamente el 30% de su agua y el 70% de su espacio libre. Toda el área es un enorme impulso a la economía local.

De hecho, escuchamos de la comunidad que para muchas familias urbanas, las montañas de San Gabriel son su único espacio grande al aire libre. Demasiados niños en el Condado de L.A., especialmente niños hispanos y de minorías, no tienen acceso a parques donde pueden correr libres, respirar aire fresco, experimentar la naturaleza, y aprender sobre su propio medio ambiente.

No es suficiente tener esa asombrosa maravilla natural al alcance de la vista. Todos, sin importar de dónde vienen, o la cantidad de dinero que tienen o el idioma que hablan, debieran tener acceso y experimentarlas. En este momento, los campamentos están congestionados, las playas de estacionamiento son pocas, y no hay recursos suficientes para administrar y mantener este área de manera que se merece. Nombrar a las Montañas de San Gabriel un monumento nacional fue solamente el primer paso en un esfuerzo mayor por cambiar eso. Permitirá que el servicio forestal, las comunidades locales y filantropías líderes trabajen juntos para aumentar el acceso y las oportunidades al aire libre para todos.

Porque los Estados Unidos nos pertenecen a todos nosotros. Por eso, como Presidente he preservado más que tres millones de acres de tierras públicas para las futuras generaciones, y no he terminado. Mi compromiso de conservación no consiste en bloquear nuestros tesoros nacionales. Se trata de trabajar con las comunidades para abrir nuestra gloriosa herencia natural para todos.

El Monumento Nacional de las Montañas de San Gabriel se unirá a un vasto paisaje de tesoros nacionales protegidos, un territorio conservado en estado virgen al que el escritor Wallace Stegner una vez llamó, “una parte de la geografía de la esperanza.” Nosotros estamos bendecidos con los paisajes más hermosos del mundo. Se nos ha conferido la responsabilidad de conservar nuestra magnífica herencia natural, y asegurar que esta “geografía de la esperanza” siga siendo el derecho de nacimiento de todas las personas que viven en Estados Unidos, no solamente para hoy, para todas las generaciones que nos seguirán.

Protecting the San Gabriel Mountains for Future Generations

By Barack Obama

October 19, 2014

One hundred and fifty years ago, President Lincoln signed a law that forever changed the way we conserve our natural heritage.  It might have seemed an odd thing to do at the time.  We were in the middle of the Civil War.  The fate of our union hung in the balance.  Lincoln himself had never even been to California; for a good part of his life, his home state of Illinois was the West.

But descriptions, drawings, and even some early photographs of the Yosemite Valley had made their way back East – as had stories about encroaching development that threatened the area.  So President Lincoln decided to help protect a place he had never visited, for a nation he might not be able to save.  In the darkest of days, he decided to bet on a future he would never live to see.  And because he did, generations of Americans have known the wonders of Yosemite National Park.

That’s why, last week, I visited California to designate the San Gabriel Mountains a National Monument.  This action will permanently protect more than 346,000 acres of rugged slopes and remote canyons that are home to an extraordinary diversity of wildlife and attract more than three million visitors every year – more than icons like Mount Rushmore and Grand Teton National Park.

What’s more, the San Gabriel Mountains contain millennia of history, from the ancient rock art of Native Americans to the Mount Wilson Observatory where Edwin P. Hubble showed the universe to be ever-expanding – and where astronomers explore the mysteries of space today.

In many ways, the story of the San Gabriel Mountains is the story of America. It’s the story of communities living in the great west – of Native Americans and Spanish missionaries, of colonialists and rancheros, of merchants and landowners. It’s the story of prospectors in search of gold; of settlers in search of a new life.

That story continues today – and it’s being written by one of our nation’s most vibrant, diverse communities, in the backyard of the second-biggest city in the country.  Over fifteen million people live within 90 minutes of the San Gabriel Mountains.  The mountains provide residents with roughly 30 percent of their water and 70 percent of their open space.  The whole area is a huge boost to the local economy.

In fact, we heard from the community that for a lot of urban families, the San Gabriels are their only big, outdoor space.  Too many children in L.A. County, especially Latinos and children of color, don’t have access to parks where they can run free, breathe fresh air, experience nature, and learn about their own environment.

It’s not enough to have that awesome natural wonder within sight.  Everybody, no matter where they come from, or how much money they have, or what language they speak, should be able to access and experience it. Right now, campgrounds are crowded, parking lots are tight, and there haven’t been enough resources to manage and maintain this area the way it deserves. Designating the San Gabriel Mountains as a National Monument was just the first step in a broader effort to change that. It will enable the Forest Service, local communities, and leading philanthropies to work together to increase access and outdoor opportunities for all.

Because America belongs to all of us.  That’s why, as President, I’ve preserved more than three million acres of public lands for future generations, and I’m not finished. My commitment to conservation isn’t about locking away our national treasures. It’s about working with communities to open our glorious heritage of nature to all Americans.

The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument will join a vast landscape of protected natural treasures – a wilderness that the writer Wallace Stegner once called, “a part of the geography of hope.”  As Americans, we’re blessed with the most beautiful landscapes in the world.  And we’re bestowed with the responsibility to preserve our magnificent natural inheritance, and ensure that this “geography of hope” remains the birthright of all Americans – not only for today, but for generations to come.

L.A. River Campout 2 Bowtie Project Oct 18-19

October 18th, 2014