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Area cities resume residential parking tickets

LOS ANGELES — As businesses slowly reopen under special COVID-19 county guidelines, several cities in Southeast Los Angeles County have restored street sweeping parking enforcement, ordered trash placed in plastic bags and opened drive-through coronavirus testing sites.

Downey notified residents of its intent to issue tickets the first week of April after residents and businesses complained of trash piles, debris, disposable masks and plastic gloves strewn between parked cars that remained still on posted sweeping days. 

Management analyst Juddy Montenegro said the city “is enforcing street sweeping violations to ensure the health and safety of the community,” and that the message aims to clarify “some confusion as to what other cities are doing” related to nonenforcement due to the health crisis. 

Downey, like neighboring cities, decided to postpone ticketing of street sweeping parking violations after it declared a virus emergency to access state and federal funds to deal with its sanitary and economic consequences. 

Parks have remained open during the outbreak, but they closed on Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day to diffuse crowds’ gatherings and limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

“We are now slowly entering the recovery phase and are excited for some of our businesses to reopen in our city,” said Downey Mayor Blanca Pacheco. “I strongly urge our business owners to please adhere to the social distancing and infection control protocols set by the county to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Whittier posted a link to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-stage reopening plan for businesses that calls for six-feet distancing from each individual, and increased supply of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses in hospitals. It asks residents to continue wearing face masks in public to stop saliva droplets from landing on other people.

For its part, Lynwood ended its street-parking moratorium May 15, and warned drivers that officers will ticket vehicles blocking sweepers on cleaning days. 

On garbage collections, Lynwood advised residents to place trash and recyclables in tied plastic bags “to avoid any direct, human contact with untreated waste of any kind,” and said residents are responsible for collecting spilled items from trash bins, as truck drivers were instructed to stay in their trucks. 

Loose garbage is not being collected, according to the city’s website. 

The city also issued directives to control other sources of virus infections and ordered residents to bag mattresses, couches, sofas and pillows before they are discarded for pickup. 

In liaison with the Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health, the city of Bell opened a drive-through coronavirus testing site at 6840 Atlantic Ave.

Bellflower added a second drive-through location at 16600 Civic Center Drive and Pico Rivera opened a third testing center at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena in the extreme northeastern part of town. All coronavirus test are free for local residents, participants must book appointments online, and must carry photo identification and registration confirmation at arrival.  

Pico Rivera Mayor Gustavo Camacho said veterans and seniors, along with first responders have test priority, but anyone can be tested.  

In addition, Pico Rivera allowed its golf club to reopen with six-feet social distancing rules among players, and required golfers to wear face coverings.  

In Paramount, the city created a program for staff pick-up and home delivery of medicines to people with disabilities or pre-existing medical conditions at no cost, with participating pharmacies being Walmart, Rite-Aid, CVS and Paramount Family Pharmacy. 

Also, Paramount established a link with nonprofit Kingdom Causes to provide resources for residents facing homelessness or who are running behind on rent payments caused by COVID-19 financial hardships. Tenants should document their cases, and call (562) 804-2189 to find if they qualify for aid. 

Community Legal Aid also offers free services to low-income people facing civil cases in Paramount on labor and housing matters related to the coronavirus, and Clean Power Alliance announced a $1 million fund to help with $25 or $50 electrical bill credits to businesses or residents with cash shortages. 

In the wake of the pandemic, Maywood passed an ordinance that imposed penalties of up to $1,000 to non-essential businesses that violate state and county health orders, and instructed police to slap people found gathering in large groups outside their households with a misdemeanor and $100 fines. 

“In order to slow the local transmission of COVID-19, the city needs all its residents, workers and visitors to obey the county order and stay at home,” City Attorney Roxanne Diaz said in a report. 

South Gate restarted its street sweeping enforcement May 18, issued guidelines to apply for a $10,000 small business grants to help 20 organizations continue services and retain jobs and launched a door decoration contest honoring essential workers with the theme “Not All Heroes Wear Capes.” Five winners will earn $50 gift cards.

The city has had to cancel its Memorial Day program because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but videos of previous programs are available on line, reports Parks and Recreation Director Steve Costley.

A link to the videos is on the city website, www.cityofsouthgate.org.

Currently the South Golf Course and tennis courts at South Gate Park are open while the skate park and dog park are planning to open in the near future, Costley said.

The city of Commerce set up a website link for struggling businesses seeking to borrow up to $10,000 with 4.5% interest rates and 36-month repayment contracts with Women’s Economic Ventures, organization with offices in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. 

Cudahy brought back enforcement of overnight parking restrictions in limited areas, and continued its program of meals for seniors in coordination with federal health agencies. 

Recreation Programs coordinator Victor Santiago said Cudahy delivers six to eight frozen meals Tuesdays and Wednesdays to each resident enrolled with non-taxed health services accounts available for retirees. 

Santiago said none of the 50 elderly served has reported being infected with COVID-19. 

“That is the whole point of the services, making home deliveries not to make them leave their homes,” Santiago concluded.

By Alfredo Santana

Contributing Writer