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October 2007
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December 2007

14th Annual Noche De Las Memorias

14th Annual Noche De Las Memorias, A Free Community World AIDS Event

Date:  Saturday, December 1, 2007

Where:  Lincoln Park, 3600 Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90031

Time:  HIV Testing 12noon -5:00pm,  Ceremony 4:00pm-5:30pm

What:  The Wall Las Memorias Project hosts the 14th Annual `Noche de las Memorias' on World AIDS  Day. The free event will take place at the site of the AIDS Monument in Lincoln Park located at 3600 Mission Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90031.

This year, more than fifty volunteers from local youth groups and high schools will help set up and light 3,000 luminarias through out Lincoln Park in honor of continued AIDS awareness and activism. Laura Diaz, KCBS news anchor, will be the mistress of ceremony for this year's program which will include musical performances by the Mary Immaculate Church Choir and flutist Manuel Sanchez. The program will also include testimonies from individuals affected by HIV and messages from local community faith leaders. Free rapid HIV testing will be available to all individuals. Over 500 community members are expected to attend this year's event.

Founded in 1993, the mission of The Wall Las Memorias Project is to preserve the AIDS monument as an inspirational tool to educate the community about cultural denial, HIV/AIDS and to promote activism and healthy living.

For more information please call 323-257-1056.


Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: Procrastination Costs

This Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report is a...

SPECIAL EDITION:  Why it makes sense to refinance...TODAY.

If refinancing the mortgage, for your home in Los Angeles, has been on your mind, two things just happened which should compel you to do just that:

1- 30 year fixed rate mortgages dropped below 6% for the first time since October, 2005.  While I am a staunch advocate of ARMs, as the least expensive mortgage, Wall Street seems to be rewarding the credit-worthy borrowers who are willing to lock-into a fixed rate mortgage.  Wall Street may be trying to push people into locking into loans, because they believe that rates are dropping, but I think that a fixed rate loan under 6% is about as good as it gets.

2- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are about to make borrowers jump through more hoops...again.  Next month, borrowers who do NOT have a FICO score of at least 680 will be assessed with a healthy penalty; 1-2% of the loan amount.  What that means is that the interest rate charged could be as much as .75% higher than the rates offered to borrowers with stellar credit (or the cost of the loan will be 1%-2% more).

If you are holding out for lower mortgage rates, that may happen next month.  You might be left out in the cold if your credit score isn't high enough.  I've seen people who have perfect credit histories with a credit score under 680 so don't get cocky; this could happen to you !  While rates could drop another .25%, you could be forced into a rate that is .25 higher than you could get today.

ACTION PLAN:  Call me today at 858-699-4590 for a mortgage rate review.

Live Jazz and Blues every Wednesday in Highand Park.

La Casa Blue, Food & Bar is proud to present Live Jazz and Blues musicisans Lewis Wong and friends every wednesday at Highland Park's only Live Music Diner & Pub located at 5930 York Blvd. Highland Park, Los Angeles 90042. Stop buy for a great show from musicians with a life time of expierence each.

Also Saturday the 15th of December, Evone Butler, joins Jazz and Pop trio "O3" on the main stage at La Casa Blue. Evone has had a very impressive carreer singing for film and recording greats alike.

So join us for great drinks, food and atmosphere, right here in Highland Park at La Casa Blue. Never a cover charge or drink minimum.  Donations and tips are appreciated for live entertainment. Food and drink specials all night ling. from 8pm to 1:00 am

The La Casa Blue, food  & Bar Family

Artist in Discussion Series at the Avenue 50 Studio

Thursday, November 29, 2007 starting at 7:00 pm

Artist in Discussion Series with Leigh Salgado and Abel Alejandre

Join us for a discussion on the artist process by two artists who share a devotion to their respective medium and attention to detail.  The trance-like quality of their art, combined with their dedication to process and ritualistic patterns, bridge the mediums of each artist’s work to create a unified and powerful statement.

Avenue 50 Studio
131 No. Avenue 50
Highland Park, CA 90042

Northeast Los Angeles Holiday Parade & Winterfest

The Northeast Los Angeles Holiday Parade & Winterfest will be held on Sunday, December 2, 2007, starting at 1 p.m.

Grand Marshalls will be radio personalities Omar Velasco and Argelia Atilano, KLVE 107.5 FM

The Parade will proceed from North Figueroa St and Ave 60 southbound to Sycamore Grove Park where fesitivities continue with Winterfest at 3 p.m.

Note:  North Figueroa will be closed to through traffic for the day.

For more Parade information, call (323) 222-4740 or online at

Living the American Dream

Picture_45To some, if not most, part of living the American Dream entails owning a home! 
Para algunos, si no todos, parte de viviendo el Sueno Americano incluye ser dueño de una casa!

For those of you that know me, I work the area of North East Los Angeles; I have refinanced and financed various purchase transactions for my fellow neighbor.
Para los que me conocen, yo trabajo el área de North East Los Angeles; he refinanciado y e dado varios prestamos para compra de casa ha mi ser humano.

Recently I asked a neighbor in Cypress Park...
SPANISH: Recientemente, le pregunte a un vecino en Cypress Park...

What does it feel like to own a home?
SPANISH: Que se siente ser dueño de una casa?

How should I tell you? It feels feels prideful. A lot of people work very hard to barely afford to make a rent payment and that's a troublesome thing. To know that I work hard so that I can own my own home...that's something to have pride over!!!
I've accomplished something very big and today my property is worth half a million dollars.
SPANISH: Pues como te diré? Se siente siente orgullo. Mucha gente trabaja muy duro y apenas tienen para pagar la renta, y eso es triste. Saber que yo trabajo duro y para ser yo...dueña de mi propia casa. Eso es orgullo!!!
He cumplido una cosa muy grande y hoy mi propiedad vale medio millón de dolares.

What words of advice do you have for someone thinking of owning a home?
SPANISH: Que palabras de consejo le tienes al alguien pensando en comprando casa?

To educate themselves as much as possible. At the time I bought my house I didn't have all of this Internet stuff. I had to confide in someone to help me. But today I know that a lot of information you can find online for free. I mean it's not wrong to confide in someone and shake their hand...but today, you have to start little by little. And the information concerning all of the process is right there.
Just remember, don't be afraid to ask questions!
Welcome to the pridefullness of home ownership!
SPANISH: Que guarden su dinero y que se educan lo mejor posible. En el tiempo que yo compre me casa no tuvimos todo esto del Internet. Yo me confié en alguien y ellos me ayudaron. Pero hoy también se que mucha información se pueda conseguir gratis en el Internet. Osea no es mal confiar en alguien y chocarles la mano...pero hay que empesar poco a poco. Y allí esta la información sobre todo lo que tienen que saber.
Y aquerdense, no tengan miedo de hacer preguntas!
Bienvenidos al orgullo de ser dueño de casa!


Americanos: Latino Life in the United States (La Vida Latina en los Estados Unidos)
es un libro que ilumina la vida Latina. Si usted gusta una copia de este libro gratis, mande me un correo electronico (email) aqui.

Old L.A. (Highland Park) Farmer's Market Report 11/20/07

Last week, we (my husband and I) hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house for the first time ever. And we survived it! We had nine people for dinner, including siblings from both sides and their respective families.

The group includes: a quasi-vegetarian, a more serious vegetarian, a bunch of carnivores, a couple of picky kids and someone who doesn’t like onions. My hub did a great job with the turkey. There was a sausage stuffing and a mushroom stuffing, a “real” gravy and a vegetarian gravy (surprisingly delicious, made with a roux and homemade roasted vegetable stock). We did some zucchini on the grill at the last minute, while the roasted sweet potato fries were coming out of the oven and the white potatoes (well, Yukon gold) were being mashed. The salad was dressed (romaine, pears, walnuts and gorgonzola – what’s better than that???) and everything pretty much hit the table all at the same time. Remarkably lucky for our first try at this dinner, but we had lots of help in the kitchen.

The stand-out dish of the entire meal was the mashed potatoes with a pear puree. Everyone loved it, no matter what the individual’s dietary preference or habit. The pear puree was made the day before and kept in the fridge, to be heated slightly in the microwave and then swirled into the potatoes just before serving. The best part? Every ingredient came from the farmers market – the potatoes, the turnips (optional, in my opinion), the pears, the lemon, even the honey! I think that is the reason it tasted so good. The recipe can be found here, on the Epicurious website:

We will definitely be making these potatoes again and again through the chilly winter months. An added bonus: the pears make the house smell delicious when they are roasting.

The market is found every Tuesday from 3- 8 p.m. on Avenue 58 and Marmion Way, between the Gold Line station and Figueroa Blvd. There is FREE PARKING after 4 p.m. in the lot adjacent to the market.

See you there. ML

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: November 26, 2007

Locking mortgage rates at application has been my advice since our last report.  Mortgage bond prices improved last week, and today, because of continued fear of defaults in the sub-prime loan market.

While my advice appears to be incorrect, I was mostly worried about inflationary data showing up in this week's figures.  Consumer Confidence and Existing Home Sales are due out in the next two days and the granddaddy of all economic reports, Gross Domestic Product, is due out on Thursday.

I'm not retreating from my earlier recommendation to lock your mortgage rate at application.  Fixed mortgage rates below 6% can be locked in the early part of this week.  While the sub-prime defaults are causing agida for Wall Street, it would appear unlikely that the Fed will cut even farther than the .25% that the interest rate market expects.

If I'm wrong on Thursday, and GDP comes in dramatically lower than expected, I'll immediately change my posture to float mortgage rates. However, the risk of higher mortgage rates outweighs the opportunity for getting "just a little bit better" on the rate.  If you can get a rate below 6% (and you can), lock it in.

Rates we offer today:

PROGRAM                RATE                APR

3/1 ARM                 5.525%        5.613%
5/1 ARM                 5.625%        5.887%
30 Year Fix            5.875%        6.124%

Rates as of 11-26-2007 and are subject to qualification and  market fluctuation.

Equal Opportunity Lender

Thanks, But No Thanks!

Thanksgiving, a truly American holiday, is a celebration of an informal treatise.  I learned, as an elementary student at Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, that the "pilgrims and indians" gathered for a great feast to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.  It was billed as the first "cross-cultural" celebration in this New World.

While I was dressing up as "a brave", for the kindergarten performance, Frank James of the Wampanoag Native American Tribe was presenting an entirely different account, in Massachusetts.  He wrote a rousing speech about the oppression of Native Americans.  When the Massachusetts legislature received an advance copy of the speech, Mr. James was disinvited.  That censorship led to the National Day of Mourning, recognized by many Native American groups.

Were I older than my five years, in 1970, I might have offered to the Massachusetts legislature my disapproval to the censorship of Frank James.  Then, I would have suggested that "Talk is Cheap" to Mr. James.  I might have advised him to start looking for opportunities for Native Americans rather than looking for a handout from the descendants of the alleged oppressors.

The libertarian thought that dominates my mind loves the equitable irony of my last statement.
Certainly, someone within the Native American communities heeded my unspoken advice.  While European fur traders may have devastated Native Americans with the introduction of firewater, it would appear that Native Americans have discovered the chink in our armor.

...and today, "The Man" is the one looking for a handout.

Happy Thanksgiving Northeast Los Angeles ! 

Old L.A. (HP) Farmer's Market Report

It’s always a little sad when it starts getting dark so early this time of year, but it makes me crave warm, comforting, homemade food… and that means shopping at the farmer’s market for all the right ingredients.

This week I’m on an eggplant kick. I picked up some darling “baby” eggplants at the market. They are about the size of a small orange, beautiful dark, smooth skins and very plump. Bigger eggplants can occasionally get bitter, but there was no danger of that with these cuties, and they had very few seeds (which can also lead to bitterness).

We ate some that very evening on top of a homemade pizza (whipping up a pizza is so easy to do with dough, sauce and cheese from Trader Joe’s – just top with your favorite farmers market finds that week).

Afterwards, I found a very clever idea for eggplant on -- lightly breading and cooking in your waffle iron! If you have kids, this may be a new way to get them to eat veggies. No joke; check out this link (and I’m going to try it for dinner tonight myself):

The market is found every Tuesday from 3- 8 p.m. on Avenue 58 and Marmion Way, between the Gold Line station and Figueroa Blvd. There is FREE PARKING after 4 p.m. in the lot adjacent to the market.

See you there. ML