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December 7, 2006

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails”

Bertha Calloway


    Greetings to all! We are Montebello E-News, a newsletter made by students eager to help make a difference in Montebello. This newsletter is designed to:

·         Inform those who "labor, learn, and live" in Montebello.

·         Assist the community in decision-making that benefits the community as a whole.

·         To encourage the improvement of the quality of life in the community.

·         To create community communication and cooperation.

·         Teach “self-reliance, selflessness, and sustainable solutions.”

    Our greatest hope is that this newsletter reaches as many people in Montebello. Montebello E-News is a nonpartisan newsletter that not only offers solutions but also welcomes the recipients to give us suggestions on how to make the newsletter more useful to them.

  Each newsletter will include:

·         Announcements

·         Fun facts and games

·         Important fact/solution activity

·         Resident advisory note

·         Online community lesson

·         How residents can help themselves and their community

·         Open suggestion box 


    I would first like to introduce myself to all the readers of this newsletter in Montebello.  My name Gabriela Ortiz and I am currently part of the announcement team for this newsletter.  It has been rewarding these past months gathering, researching, and committing to a beneficial service to the community.

    The announcements are one of the most important parts to our newsletter.  They are meant for everyone in Montebello. Every announcement informs a different person in Montebello;  that is why we invite you to send announcements through this community newsletter, which is published by students at Montebello High School. This newsletter is sent out to adults and youth throughout Montebello.

    If you wish to send us one or two announcements per
week, please send us the following by e-mail as soon
as possible, as these are available:

  1.   Up to fifty words per announcement, including a title, description, location, date, time, contact information, and a hyperlink to details at a Web site, if these are available.  Each announcement is listed under one or two of these categories:  schoolteachers, youth, families, retirees, businesspeople, nonprofit organizations, elected officials, civil servants, community leaders, “do gooders”, motorists,    everyone.  Personal announcements, unless pertinent to the community (like
fourth graders winning an academic competition), and advertisements are not  included.
2.      Name of your organization leader.
3.      E-mail address.
4.      Fax number.
5.      Web address.

    The above information can be sent by e-mail to

  Gabriela Ortiz

  Vitalina Gonzalez



   For everyone in Montebello.  Our city council will have a regular meeting on Wednesday, December 13, at 7:30 PM at city hall.  If you wish to speak, arrive before 7:30 and fill a card.  Remember that time is limited for speakers, so if you have much to share, write, copy, and distribute.



                                 I Don’t Want to Grow Up:  Part 1

   “The solution to adult problems tomorrow depends on large measure upon how our children grow up today.” Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist, 1901-1978

   “I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys' R Us kid, there's a million toys at Toys 'R Us that I can play with! …”  This was a commercial jingle in the Eighties, before the growing years of today’s high schoolers.  The jingle was popular enough that it was reintroduced in 2001, so we have had back-to-back generations not wanting to grow up.

     Really?  Yes, really.  The fantasy of never-ending childhood is part of American culture, so the fantasy translates into excellent advertising.  “I want to be a kid”, said this bright eleventh grader, a debate student whom I had driven to Cal State Chico, that is, to the ends of the Earth, for the California competition of SAGE, .  I had been so impressed with the high schoolers in competition that I had expressed the wish that adults treat the high schoolers as adults.  She protested.

    “Kids” has a connotation when applied to youth, namely, that they are immature and irresponsible when compared with adults.  Those supposed attributes of immaturity and irresponsibility shape how we adults treat youth:  we lower our expectations and we impose stultifying rules.  We make it difficult, if not
impossible, for youth to grow up.  Then, when we tell them that they are grown up, we are frustrated by their driving, workplace habits, and failure to vote. Also, we fail to realize that they could become leaders and organizers in addressing major challenges like global warming.  Our treatment of youth as “kids” makes it hard for youth to help solve the problems which we have created and which affect them and us.

    If we gave weight and credence to the optimism and idealism of youth, inviting them into adult roles commensurate with their skills and treating them as adults when they assumed such roles;  would it not be reasonable for us to expect that they would make an effort, unblemished by our adult cynicism and selfishness, to alleviate the unhappiness, however small, however local?  What would we have to lose if we let them try?

    Should we not give high schoolers a chance, starting with a change in our adult vocabulary and outlook? And would high schoolers start helping us and themselves if their vocabulary and outlook changed because of our change?

  Van Ajemian, December 7, 2006, Montebello, California 90640































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