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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring is here and time to show your faces!

With Dolores Huerta
So many things are happening the next few months.  I do a lot of work for some great non profits and this is the time of the year they are planning or hosting their annual fund raising events.
GLAD (Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc.) will be rockin’ on June 5th at the House of Blues, hosting their 9th Annual GLAD Benefit Extravaganza.  This year the event is a little different than in past years… an evening event, rather than the their typical Sunday Brunch.  Rachel Braver, Director of Public Relations has once again rolled up her sleeves and along with the generous help from hair stylist to the stars– Ken Paves, this years all star cast that includes actresses Eva Longoria, Marlee Martlin, and music sensation Jody Stevenson, promises to be an event not to miss! The lose of hearing or being born deaf is hard for many of us to imagine.  Our deaf and hard of hearing community needs your support.  If you able to attend great!  If you are able to provide a corporate sponsorship, or know anyone who might be able to, please contact GLAD at 323/478-8000. 
Dolores Huerta with Fr. Richard Estrada  
Dr. Gabriel Buelna and Ronn Savala
Councilman Jose Huizar
On March 31st we helped celebrate Cesar Chavez Day with Plaza Community Services.  Dr. Gabriel Buenla and his staff hosted an afternoon of food, music and education at their 1st Street work training facility.  Community members of the Boyle Heights area took advantage of Plaza’s hospitality and were graced with the presence of labor union icon Dolores Huerta.  Ms. Huerta was gracious enough to sign posters of Cesar Chavez (provided by Diversity Graphics) as well as pose with community members for pixs.  Also in attendance was Coucilman Jose Huizar (Los Angeles District 14) and Father Richard Estrada. Children were treated to face painting, hands on planting of various seeds amongst other activities.  The staff kept busy grilling hot dogs and demonstrating their new “Mobile Workshop” which provides job training and job searches for those in need.
Lucien Fiiyer-Smith & Ms. Maiya Sykes
Lucien Fiiyer-Smith & Annmarie Macy
Colombo's Italian Steakhouse and Jazz Club was rocking in the month of March.  Tony Lunn, Irene Diaz and the fabulous Maiya Sykes with the Endangered brought some fresh new music to Eagle Rock.  Colombo’s (if you haven’t been there) is a great place to hang if you want some good food and great music.  Vic Parrino has is a true supporter of the Eagle Rock community.  He is part of what makes Eagle Rock a great place to live! 
PMS Sisters!
Spa day was held once again.  This time we were treated to have some fabulous women.  To our surprise the women who booked the event were members of Casa0101.  The PMS sisters! Miriam Peniche and Blanca Melchor kept Ronn Savala and I laughing for hours!!!  Myself, I think I gave them some pretty good ideas for some future material… I hope they give me credit damn it : )~  I told them next them they come to bring handsome Adrian Gonzalez, of course he will only be eye candy as I am married!

May is National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), officially proclaimed "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month" by President Barack Obama, is a celebration of the culture, traditions, and history of Asians Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution in 1978 to commemorate Asian American Heritage Week during the first week of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries occurred during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869. In 1990 Congress voted to expand it from a week to a month long celebration and in May 1992, the month of May was permanently designated as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.”

You can purchase Diversity Graphics 2011 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month poster for $5.00 each.  Visit
Well that’s it for now, enough Chisme until next time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Election Time!

It’s time to elect (re-elect) our local leaders here in the City of the Angeles. We live in District 14 which cover Eagle Rock, Boyle Heights, Mt. Washington, El Serreno and parts of Highland Park . . . Mostly Latino households and many Mom and Pop businesses.

The race for Councilman has just two names on the ballet. I guess the average Joe no longer finds it in her/his interest to represent a pretty progressive group of communities. Maybe it’s the cost, maybe it’s the lack of interest, maybe our local community leaders just are burnt out. I don’t know, but its upsetting that we are given just two choices. So tomorrow March 8th your gonna either vote for the incumbent José Huizar or his challenger Rudy Martínez.

I haven’t decided who to vote for and that’s a first as I usually have made up my mind months ahead of time. Huizar hasn’t really done an earth shaking job. This have been done during his term(s) but nothing to write home about. Martínez is a good businessman, but not having the experience in politics concerns me, you can run a successful business but City Hall is a whole other game. Maybe next race we will have some really good candidates that will want the voter to go out and vote!

School board District 5 race is a whole other story. You got several candidates and two of them who might be in a run off. You have the politically back Luis Sanchez which offers us nothing more than same stamp of approval that sits currently on the Board and UTLA backed classroom leader Bennett Kayser. No brainer here, I am voting for Mr. Kayser for the sole reason that if we keep on electing the same old same old, NOTHING CHANGES! Enough is enough, let’s put some fresh blood on that board! I found this funny video on YouTube of Mr. Sanchez….

Now for the fun… On February 25th my fab friend Ms. Jenny Lens invited Ronn Savala and I to her exhibit of California Punk photos over at the Subliminal Projects Studio in Echo Park. The event entitled “Too Fast to Live, To Young to Die… selctions from California Punk and featured other works (besides Ms. Lens) BY EDWARD COLVER, SHEPARD FAIREY, GLEN E. FRIEDMAN, DAVE MARKEY, RAYMOND PETTIBON, JORDAN SCHWARTZ, WINSTON SMITH was a hit!

SHEPARD FAIREY and JENNY LENS real crowd pleasers!

What a nite! Ronn and I came early as Jenny Lens was kind enough to put us on her VIP list. It was a rainy nite and the crowd was many. Because we were let in 1 hour before the opening we got to see much of the exhibit. They had a wall covered with Xerox copies of band fliers (just like the old days before fancy inexpensive printing). And the music DJ’s by Mr. Shepard Fairey made for fun memories. One of my favorite actresses, Drew Barrymore was in the crowd. She bought a pix of Joan Jertt and Lita Ford from Jenny Lens (good pick Drew!). Of course I had to take advantage of the Kodak moment so enjoy the pics!

Myself and Ms. Drew Barrymore!

The girl with the Camera Eye Jenny Lens, Drew Barrymore and a Ramone

New friend Kelly Flint sporting one of the fliers from the wall. BTW she has a fab hair do!
Jenny Lens and Rom Savala enjoying a cold one!
Super Chingona and woman about town, Josefina Lopez will be celebrating her 42n birthday on March 18th… Happy B-Day Josefina!

My neighbor Tony Lunn and his trio are playing at Colombo’s Italian Steakhouse and Jazz Club on Saturday, March 12th. Their set begins at 9:30 pm. His music is inspiring so I hope you get a chance to catch his show.

Finally, March is National Women's History Month... you can purchase my poster from Diversity Graphics and join the celebration!

Friday, January 28, 2011

2011... The Year of Success!

Christmas Day. Our friend Irene Diaz and Seung Park stopped by to meet Ricardo and Cita. They are going to be working on a project and this was the perfect time for them to meet each other as it’s rare for everyone to be in the same place at the same time! You can tell by the smile that Ronn Savala had a good time!

Starting out the New Year was not fun. I had caught a cold on December 30t and lasting until November 6th, so ringing in the new year was not a happening this year only a warm blanket and lots of Nyquil oh the joy.

December was very busy, more busy than years past. Work flow was good spent lots of time with friends and family. Since my birthday is in December (the 17th) usually there is the lunches and dinners but this year I wanted my friends to join me and do something different. It was perfect timing this year as Josefina Lopez and her troop were putting on their annual “PMS Sisters” extravaganza!

If you never ventured over to Casa0101 located in the heart of Boyle Heights, well your missing some pretty good local talent. P.M.S. “The Pinche Mentirosa Sisters” in “Kiss my Mistletoe” is just one of many plays put on last year by Ms. Lopez and her crew. P.M.S. is a fast-paced theatrical comedy featuring vignettes that unabashedly tackle society’s taboos and celebrates the camaraderie of women.

Staring and written by Josefina Lopez, Miriam Peniche, April Ibarra, Blanca Melchor, with the participation of Adrian Gonzalez and directed by Hector Rodriguez. P.M.S. once again had us rolling in laughter and leaving the show with big smiles. Next time the gang brings out the P.M.S. gang make it a point to get your bootie over Casa0101.

After the show Josefina was kind enough to invite us to her after-party-xmas party just down the street from the venue. There we eat, drank and all had a festive jolly good time. I usually am in bed by 9:00 but this was my special evening and having had such a great time at the play, it was a pleasure to be amongst the cast and guest of Casa0101. Dancing into the nite I got my weekly shot of exercise. At one point the DJ span “Dancing Queen” at which point I noticed Josefina dancing away and decided to show her what a real dancing queen dances like!

A few days before x-mas our gang got together here in Eagle Rock to make some Tamales! This time of year never goes by without us getting down and dirty in the process it takes to make them delicious corn meal delights! Ruthie from Buena Vista Furniture had to be the chingona of course, nothing will be done unless she has the final OK. So I thought we were going to do them on a Friday, so I got everything ready… no one came so I put everything away then I get a phone call from Ms. Buena Vista telling me it was Monday… Ayi Dios.

Monday, Eagle Rock, California 9:00 a.m. I am waiting for the ladies to call/come by. I had all my meats prepared, my masa ready to go, my olives, my drinks…everything. Time kept ticking, ticking, then I get a phone call from Sandra Ponche asking if Ruthie was there, I told her no and it’s now 1:30… so she called and so on and so forth and finally Juana Medina shows up at 3:00! The first of many who eventually got her. So the group was all together by 5:00 and we started tamaling away.

Needless to say, making Tamales this year with an all women crew was a lot of fun and I can’t wait till next year to do it all again… this time I will trick them with them time so they get it right!

Christmas Eve. This year was different than most as it’s the first time I was not with my whole family for many, many, years. My sister Rosa moved with her family and my mother to Buckeye, Arizona a few years ago. Last year we drove there, this year because of the rain we all stayed home. My sister Alice and my nephew Richard though were here and come over to enjoy the Tamale eating and drink. Joining us were Cita and Ricardo our two musically gifted and stars of “La Victima”, and our very, very good friend Steve Rodriguez. It was a fun nite as we sat around and enjoyed enough other’s conversation and had some damned good food.

Christmas Day. Our friend Irene Diaz and Seung Park stopped by to meet Ricardo and Cita. They are going to be working on a project and this was the perfect time for them to meet each other as it’s rare for everyone to be in the same place at the same time!

After some chatting we all ventured into the van and headed over to Clifton’s for some good ole Christmas Day breakfast. Pancakes and sausage, Menudo, Chilicillias, eggs, food, food, food!!! Well it was worth the extra pounds. Downtown is so beautiful and it was nice to spend Christmas morning there with friends.

Well as I opened with, New Years I was down with a cold. I am concentrating on finishing up projects, starting new projects and making 2011 a joyful, healthy and successful one. So here’s to the New Year. May we all find peace and success!

Finally, February is National Black History Month...

Black History Month is an annual observance in February, celebrating the past and present achievements of African Americans. In February 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, proposed the establishment of "Negro History Week" to honor the history and contributions of African Americans to American life. Dr. Woodson, known as the "Father of Black History", chose the second week of February because it commemorates the birthdays of two men who greatly affected the African American community: Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14). Negro History Week became Black History Week in the early 1970's. In 1976, the week-long observance was expanded to a month in honor of the nation's bicentennial.

Black History Month
is sponsored by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). The Association was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter Woodson--historian, teacher, author and publisher. Each year the Association designates the national theme for Black History Month. In 2011, the association's theme is "African Americans and the Civil War” in honor of the efforts of people of African descent to destroy slavery and inaugurate universal freedom in the United States.

Please visit Diversity Graphics and browse through our website and select the many materials that will help your business, school, place of work, or organization celebrate Black History Month!

Diversity Graphics National Black History Month Poster [BP11] 13" x 19" poster are $5.00 each.

Friday, October 1, 2010

We are gonna miss you LA ABEJA!!!

Roy Fonseca at the gates of La Abeja.
First, I want to talk about my good friend Rogelio Fonseca and his RETIREMENT from over 40 years of one of the BEST Mom and Pop Mexican restaurants in all of Los Angeles... "LA ABEJA".

I first started going to Abeja about 1993, located in Mt. Washington I was introduced to the place by my crazy friend Lucia Rivera and her friend Ivy Orta.  It was there we would to religiously almost every Saturday and Sunday.  I would pick everyone up in my 1979 pickle green VW van and on our way we go.  There is no formal seating at Abeja but everyone knows where to seat, favorite seat, favorite spot.  We liked to sit in the middle of the restaurant as if it was our own private island.

A cold beer was almost always needed as the nite before our delicious breakfast we usually went to some changlasa or friends house and whooped it up the night before, so we would walk down the street to grab some brew at the corner convenient store the walk back and down it!

Johnny Carrillo, Tia Gloria and Ronn Savala
Now we were ready to order!  Tia Gloria would make her way from other orders and with a beautiful smile and soft voice asked us what we wanted to order.  A cup of Menudo for Lucia and I always as well as a plate of beans and tortillas!!! BTW the beans are EXCELLENT~  I don't know how old Tia Gloria is but it's nice to know there are still places that appreciate the good help elders can provide and although slow and careful, Tia Gloria ALWAYS delivered the goods.

Friends having a GREAT time.
After a few weeks of our weekly routine we started to attract groupies!  One day as we are strolling out of the VW Rogelio comes out to greet us and informs us that we have a group of gay gentleman that have waited for us to arrive!  The week before (after we left) they asked him if we come frequent and when.  I guess the loudness of two crazy Mexican Americans / Chicanos and one loud Puerto Rican was great entertainment to them.  We didn't let our new found fame distract us from being ourselves cause if any of you know us you know we are always a bit on the crazy side!

Over the last 17 years we have watched the Fonseca family grow.  Vee, Monica, Roy, Jr. three GREAT kids now three great adults.  Julia and Roy certainly did a great job at raising their children.  Respectful and were ALWAYS fun to joke around with.  They certainly understood their community and appreciated it's diversity.

The cooks at Abeja also were part of the dynasty.  Charlie, Poncho and Hector.  I could make Charlie screw up everyone's order just by looking at him!  I would make him nervous and blush.  I never understood why but it was fun to watch him turn red!  Poncho always conservative and kept his cool.  Hector... a character himself!  One time I went with my friend Adam Valdez for lunch.  Usually Ronn is with me but this time he was working so my friend Adam went with me.  After about 15 minutes Hector comes over and looks me in the eyes then stares down Adam and tells me "WHERE'S RONN"... I replied "Ronn?", Hector "Yes Ronn!"  I am going to tell him you are cheating on him!  I looked at Adam and insured him that Hector was just looking out for me and Ronn and well it was funny.  I told Hector "You think I would be so stupid as to have an affair then bring them to a place where everyone knows me?"

Ex Councilman Mike Hernandez and Rogelio Fonseca
A visit to Abjea is always interesting, you NEVER know who you will see there, from Political leaders to Community Activists, to the crazies in the town... it was always an adventure.

Rogelio Fonseca and Rogelio Fonseca, Jr.
Lastly, there are sooooo many stories I can't possibly tell them all here but we are going to miss you Roy... and we love you and wish you much success as the political melting pot that you created will be surely missed.  You have brought together so many friends and it was nice to know that you could always go to Abeja and be with friends.  From the local politicals, policemen, city workers, community members... La Abeja is special.  We love you and wish you much success in your retirement.


OK now for some fun stuff:

BUENA VISTA FURNITURE is having their annual End of Summer super dooper, grande, big, huge Sale from October 7th through 10th.  You should drop on by on October 7th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. as our friend Irene Diaz and friends will be performing.  Irene is an very talented young woman who is sure to be a star!  There will be food and spirits not to mention their prices on sales items are going to be FANTASTIC!!! Buena Vista has the most amazing selection or unique and original furniture and accessories for you home.  Drop on by and see for yourself and enjoy the evening with good food and music.

Please check out TheNonProfitNetwork's "I've Got Something To Say" with host Gabriel Buelna with Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva as they discuss the economic boycott of Arizona, immigration law and Mexico's role in fighting illegal immigration.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let's Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month!

National Hispanic Heritage Month Poster [HP10]
A brief history on National Hispanic Heritage Month:
Hispanic Heritage Month is the period to recognize the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week was approved by President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into Law on August 17, 1988 on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

"September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. They all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18 and September 21, respectively. "

This year especially it is important for us to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by demonstrating the importance of the contributions and culture we of Hispanic heritage have made. Not only in the arts but also as political and social leaders.

Growing up in Los Angeles (the melting pot many cultures) it is amazing to see just how many background of Hispanic/Latino cultures are intermixed with everyday life. There are so many places in Los Angeles that one visits that reminds us of this. From El Pubelo “Olivera Street” downtown, to the berths in San Pedro… so many flavors of Hispanic/Latino life all around.

Food, oh let’s not forget the many flavors this rich culture has brought to America. Tacos, Burritos, Salsas, Moles, the list goes on and on… Mouth watering foods on our plates that make our taste buds happy day in and day out in the city of Angels. From the Salvadorian Pupusa to the Argentine Empanada, we are lucky to have such variety of dishes available to us on a daily basis.

Contributions not only from flavorful food, but from the many talents that have come from these colorful countries. Artists such as the Queen of Salsa “Celica Cruz” and Academy Award winning Penelope Cruz, have given our youth the inspiration to go forward with their creative culture and talents. Political figures such as Congressman Xavier Becerra, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis– wonderful role models for a new generation of Hispanic/Latino leaders… our future. Yes Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to celebrate! A celebration not only of culture and tradition, but the many contributions of Hispanic/Latino Americans.

Sí Se Puede! Yes we can!

To purchase this poster visit Diversity Graphics.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Deaf Awarness Week is celebrated across the country the last week of September. There are many events held during this time to celebrate the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community as well as many educational events.

Locally in Los Angeles here are some events provided by GLAD that you and your family can attend or participate in:

Eyes of Deafness: Photographs by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Adults
September 2-29
fINdings Art Center
470 W. 6th Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

This is part of the Art Walk, so there will be many other galleries open as well as cafes and restaurants within walking distance of fINdings. This is a great opportunity to explore and discover an historical neighborhood that has been revitalized. The gallery is open Thursday-Saturday from 6-9 p.m. or by special appointment.

American Sign Language Courses – Fall 2010
2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041
10-week courses
ASL I: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, Sept. 18-Nov. 20 (required book to purchase: VISTA Signing Naturally Level One)
ASL II: Thursdays, 6-9 p.m., Sept. 16-Nov. 18 (required book to purchase: VISTA Signing Naturally Level One)
ASL III: Tuesdays, 6-9 p.m., Sept. 14-Nov. 16 (required book to purchase: VISTA Signing Naturally Level Two)
(These books can be found on

Hearing Loss Technology Expo
Wednesday, September 22
6-8:30 p.m.
2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041

DEAFestival Los Angeles 2010
Saturday, September 25
Noon-6 p.m.
Woodley Park
6350 Woodley Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91406

Councilmember Huizar of CD-14 is sponsoring a bus for people who need transportation to DEAFestival in Van Nuys on Saturday, September 25. It is free for riders but there are limited seats! Contact Elizabeth at or 866-939-3149 VP to RSVP on a first come, first serve basis! Reservations end Wednesday, September 22. People who are guaranteed a seat will receive an e-mail or phone call from Elizabeth Luttrell with further details, so please provide your contact information.

Grand Opening of GLAD’s Visual Communications Center
Wednesday, September 29
4-6 p.m.
2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Reception, opening remarks by GLAD CEO, Dr. Patty Hughes, and special guests, red-ribbon cutting ceremony and demonstrations of videophone technology.

Celebrating International Day of Sign Language Rights: Californians for ASL 2010
Thursday, September 30
State Capitol, North Side
10th Street & L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Celebrate American Sign Language and the World Federation of the Deaf’s Proclamation of International Day of Sign Languages, hosted by the California Association of the Deaf.

GLAD is a wonderful organization and if you ever wanted do volunteer work this organization is a friendly and great place to do it.   I am fortunate to work with Dr. Patricia Hughes and Rachel Braver on many of GLAD events.  Hats off to GLAD and their stuff and a happy Deaf Awareness Week!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11... My view on this traggic day.

The anniversary of 911… 9 years ago. I remember exactly what I was doing and what was happening that day. I wake up pretty much the same time everyday (between 5:00 – 5:30 am) I always turn on the radio to listen the the mornings new as I get ready to take my shower, but this particular day I would be interrupted by the shocking news. At first the news was sketchy but still interesting enough to make me stop and walk out of the bath room and tell my husband that a plane had crashed into the twin towers…. he thought I was joking (as I often do to get his attention) but I assured him that I was not and we turned on the tele to Channel 5 News. It was at that moment that the reality set in. It was at that time we watched in horror as the second plane crashed straight into the second tower! Needless to say the fear started to set in as I quickly grabbed my phone and called my neighbor Barbara Sandoval to see if she was aware of the happenings.

I learned something important that day from Barbara… Go straight to the store, buy some groceries and take out as much money you can from the ATM! It was the best advice anyone gave me that day as soon after the banks would be closed, the planes wouldn’t be flying and life just changed… changed in seconds (too bad Obama’s change has not come as fast!).

Ronn Savala (my husband) was working for a company and had booked several education classes in Las Vegas that week to educate on hair color. We decided to take the drive regardless not realizing just how much of an impact this disaster would have on America. The drive at first was good but then we began to imagine how creep it was that there were NO airplanes flying in the skies! So quiet so peaceful.

When we arrived in Las Vegas we checked in our hotel. There we soon realized that many people were stranded, stuck, could not get a flight home. It was there I experienced just how kind people can be at a time of crisis. Sams Town (where we were staying) told their guest not to worry, they would be taken care of and would not be charged! It was a very special moment.. a moment where American’s had their chance to shine as this horrible situation began to become a reality. And shine America did. Most people were extending their hands, most people felt as though somehow they were also victims… it turned out we were.

I learned many lessons that week after 9/11. I learned how kind we can be as American’s and one push comes to shove we are all under the same roof, Red, Black, White, Brown, Purple… we are ALL Americans. We are all here in the land of the free. We are lucky to have our freedom. No one can EVER take that away, no one! so in closing I applaud America… a place where we (I) can speak my mind, say my peace and be free! Let’s not forget the most important thing about America… She is the Land of the Free… Don’t let others bully you into believing anything else, your voice (although not always what people want to hear) is important. Your vote is your vote… take advantage of it. In the world of Bob Marley “Get Up Stand Up… Stand Up For Your Rights!”

Peace and let’s not forget this day.