Revoke Tony Soo Hoo’s License as Owner of Evergreen Cemetery

Please sign the Change.org petition to revoke Tony Soo Hoo’s ownership of Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles.

http://www.change.org/petitions/department-of-consumer-affairs-cemetery-and-funeral-bureau-take-away-tony-soo-hoo-s-license-as-owner-of-evergreen-cemetery-and-hire-someone-else-who-will-do-a-better-job

My name is Jonvive Anguiano I have 4 generations of Family Members Buried at Evergreen Cemetery Located at: 204 N Evergreen Ave  Los Angeles, CA 90033.

I buried my Mother Sheleen Romero there July 23, 2012, it cost thousands of dollars to burry your loved ones. And when I go to visit my Mom there is nothing green at all about Evergreen Cemetery, actually all of the entire Cemetary is Yellow & Brown. It looks hedious!!

I’m asking that you sign my petition to demand the Department of Consumer Affairs Cemetery and Funeral Bureau to Stop slapping Mr. Tony Soo Hoo on the wrist for previous Violations and just take away his license and hire someone else who would do a better job; of the maintenance and up keep of Evergreen Cemetery.

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Families and Politicians Push for Improvements at Evergreen Cemetery

By Imelda Mercado on March 24, 2014

A woman carrying a bucket walks back and forth between a rusty water faucet and her mother-in-law’s grave. She throws water on the plot, which is the only green area surrounded by acres of brown.

Leslie Letrán waters the grave because cemetery workers don’t. “We come at least twice a month to water,” she says. “It’s hard to maintain. It shouldn’t be us.”

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Evergreen Cemetery holds an important place in the lives of many people both in and outside of Boyle Heights, either because they have someone buried there or because they live in the community.

At 136 years old, it is the oldest cemetery in Los Angeles. More than 300,000 people are buried there, including musicians and actors, Japanese American war veterans and former mayors and council members of Los Angeles.
Today, family members and politicians are pushing for improvements in the caretaking of the cemetery. Covering more than 67 acres in Boyle Heights, Evergreen serves not only as a place to visit the deceased, but also as a green space in a neighborhood with few open areas.

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Drought or neglect?

Cemetery officials have blamed the dry grass on citywide drought restrictions from the Department of Water and Power. But city water officials say the cemetery is not watering as much as it could because of its antiquated irrigation system and lack of staff.

Robert Estrada, a DWP Water Conservation Specialist, believes there are several reasons why Evergreen Cemetery looks the way it does. He notes that the cemetery’s watering system is old and likely has broken pipes.

“You get the pressure, but not the flow,” he says. “The gap between sprinklers is why it never gets green.”
Another problem, Estrada says, is that Evergreen does not have an automatic watering system. Its manual system requires staff to actually be on the grounds to operate the sprinklers.

Current restrictions limit watering on residential and commercial properties to three days a week, before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

Richard García, the grounds supervisor at Evergreen Cemetery, confirmed Estrada’s suspicion that the staff is not watering the entire cemetery three days a week. The grounds staff works from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and does not have enough time to turn on all the sprinklers, he says.

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Not enough time

“We can’t do the whole cemetery in an hour and a half,” he says. “We barely get the cemetery covered in the week.”
Jonvive Anguiano, 34, has four generations of family buried in the cemetery and is not happy about the conditions. She started a petition on change.org to gain community support to force better management of the cemetery.

After six months, Anguiano has 750 supporters. Looking around while visiting the grave of her mother, she says, “It looks desolate. It doesn’t look like other cemeteries that I’ve seen.”

She adds, “They don’t care because their loved ones aren’t here. I don’t think they care enough.”
While other cemeteries, like Forest Lawn and Rose Hills, use recycled water or underground wells, García, the grounds supervisor, says that Evergreen lacks those options.

Recycled water is not available on the Eastside. DWP officials say a new irrigation system would be costly and not a likely investment at an old cemetery where there are few plots available to sell to bring in new revenue.

Over the years, Evergreen Cemetery has faced many complaints. The cemetery is owned by Tony Soo Hoo.

For more than a decade, Soo Hoo has been on probation with California’s Department of Consumer Affairs Cemetery and Funeral Bureau for violations, including grave desecration and failing to document the location of burial sites.
Soo Hoo did not return phone calls from Boyle Heights Beat.

Anguiano, the petition circulator, says, “Many people have the same anger and love I do about the cemetery because of their loved ones, and they want to see something done about it because it is a part of their community.”
Both DWP and cemetery officials pointed out that there are hoses on the cemetery grounds, and community members may water their family plots.

The cemetery’s state of neglect also caught the attention of Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina. Calling it “Never green,” Molina has gotten involved in an effort to force management to revitalize Evergreen. She has gone to water the cemetery, and now has members of her staff monitoring to make sure watering is taking place.

“I think it’s not only the disrespect of the dead,” she says, “but the disrespect of the community.”

Photos by Sylvester Foley

Republished from: http://www.boyleheightsbeat.com/families-politicians-push-for-improvements-at-evergreen-cemetery-3926

County supervisor wants lawns revived at Boyle Heights cemetery

November 25, 2013

BOYLE HEIGHTS

By Lucy Guanuna

Boyle Heights’ historic Evergreen Cemetery has not been living up to its name. There are only a few patches of green grass to be found at the 136-year-old cemetery. Instead, a forest of stone tombstones rise above a 67-acre field of mostly yellowed and dead lawn and barren patches of dirt. As the lack of lawn has attracted attention and complaints, L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who has called the grounds a “disgrace, ” has launched a campaign to revitalize the grounds at Evergreen.

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Cemetery officials blame strict L.A. Department of Water and Power restrictions for the dry conditions at Evergreen, where some of the 300,000 gravestones bear notable names – such as Hollenbeck, Lankershim and Van Nuys – from the city’s past. But Molina and others blame cemetery administrators for the “blighted environment” at Evergreen. In an email newsletter, Molina said:

I believe the heavily unkempt grounds at this historic cemetery are a disgrace to everyone living in the surrounding Eastside neighborhoods! It’s also a disgrace to the renowned people who have been laid to rest here – which includes historic figures, celebrities, as well as a significant Chinese day laborer population from the turn of the last century.

Roxane Marquez, legislative and press deputy for Molina, said they have received a handful of complaints from residents within her 12 years of working in Molina’s office. Marquez said that Molina’s office is putting pressure on state agencies to enforce laws regarding the upkeep of the cemetery.

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A Whittier resident, Jonvive Anguiano, who has four generations of family buried at Evergreen, recently took matters into her own hands and started a Change.org petition demanding Tony Soo Hoo’s “license as owner of Evergreen Cemetery be revoked.” In her petition, Anguiano said:

“I buried my Mother Sheleen Romero there July 23, 2012, it cost thousands of dollars to burry your loved ones. And when I go to visit my Mom there is nothing green at all about Evergreen Cemetery, actually all of the entire Cemetary is Yellow & Brown. It looks hedious!!”

She has received more than 480 signatures within the last month.
But officials at Evergreen dispute the complaints, with Kavina Sam, a supervisor at Evergreen Cemetery, saying he feels they are being harassed.

“We are doing everything we can to water the grass. We haven’t received any complaints from locals because we pick up our trash and trim our trees and lawns,” Sam said. “If [Molina] keeps pushing, we’re going to have to go to court.”

Sam said they are doing everything they can to keep the lawn green but restrictions from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power prevent them from watering the lawn for more than 8 minutes per sprinkler, three days a week, which he said is devastating to the lawn, especially during the summer months.

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Evergreen Cemetery, however, has found ways to deal with the water restrictions. Visitors can leave their driver’s license and “rent” a hose if they want to water the grass around their loved one’s graves, which prevents Evergreen for being fined for watering the grass beyond the allotted time, Sam said. Although he admits they have irrigation pipes from the late 1800s that break often, the staff is gets them fixed within a day or two, he said.
Sam said the cemetery is working with Molina to try to get more watering time from the DWP and are looking into other sources of water, including recycled water.

Molina’s office has seen some signs of improvement. Marquez said it seems that Evergreen has been watering the lawn and it looks to have improved. But the office is currently monitoring conditions in hopes the lawn will improve before they pursue any further action.

“All we are asking is that existing regulations be followed, no more, no less,” Marquez said.

Lucy Guanuna, a journalism student at Cal State Northridge, has reported on a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

Republished from: http://www.theeastsiderla.com/2013/11/county-supervisor-wants-lawn-revived-at-boyle-heights-cemetery/

Watch What you Touch at Evergreen Cemetery

Evergreen Headstones

Be careful where you walk or what you touch at Evergreen Cemetery.  Some of the headstones topple over easily.  It seems that the staff just doesn’t care enough to set the grave stones on a proper foundation.  They just prop them up when they get knocked down, only to fall again when the lawn mower drives by.

The maintenance staff is careless with the lawnmower.  It appears that they smacked this headstone while joy riding on the lawn mower and broke it in three.  Nice job guys.

Broken headstone at evergreen cemetery

Evergreen Cemetery Owner Disciplined Again by State of California

The state of California has been disciplining Evergreen Cemetery owner Tony Soo Hoo for over 11 years.  Isn’t it about time the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau of the State of California buried Tony Soo Hoo?

Click the link below to read the legal cases and complaints against Evergreen Memorial Care, Inc.

In the Matter of the Accusation Against:
Evergreen Memorial Care, Inc
DBA Evergreen Cemetery

Are you outraged on how the State of California continues to slap the hands of Tony Soo Hoo with probation year after year?  This crook should be kicked out of our neighborhood and never allowed to step anywhere near Boyle Heights.

Comment below on what you think should be done to restore decency and honor to our neighborhood and our loved ones interred at Evergreen Cemetery.

Evergreen Cemetery’s Owners License Revoked for Compton Cemetery in 2001

Compton Cemetery’s License Is Revoked

Regulations: The state cites numerous violations, including the burial of several bodies per grave.

March 01, 2001 | LOUIS SAHAGUN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

State officials Wednesday revoked the license of a Compton cemetery accused of grave desecration and failure to properly dispose of human remains.

The revocation was part of a settlement reached between the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Bureau and Evergreen Memorial Care Inc., owner of Woodland Cemetery in Compton and Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Under the settlement, Woodlawn must be sold or transferred to new owners within 270 days of the revocation of its license, which takes effect March 22, said Tracy Weatherby, a spokeswoman for the bureau.

The owners also must retain a bureau-approved third party to provide for maintenance and public visitation of the 120-year-old cemetery, where no future burials will be permitted, she said.

“Revocation is the most severe discipline the bureau can impose, and it is reserved for the most egregious violations,” said Glen V. Ayers, chief of the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau. “But we are doing more than revoking a license: We are also looking to the future by providing recourse for those who purchased graves at Woodlawn and by finding long-term solutions for the care of the cemetery.”

Attorney Stephan Sadowsky, who is representing Evergreen Memorial Care, said, “It’s a fair settlement. Given the history of Woodlawn, where the current owners inherited these problems from prior owners . . . it serves to protect the innocent consumers who were injured.”

The owners must set aside 200 graves at Evergreen Cemetery and create a $50,000 fund to provide cash payments to customers with rights at Woodlawn they can no longer use, Weatherby said. They also must pay $210,000 in investigation and prosecution costs.

The bureau revoked Evergreen Cemetery’s license, but that revocation was stayed and the license was placed on five years’ probation.

Woodlawn was shut down in March after state investigators found bone fragments scattered about and discovered that cemetery operators had created 16 multiple graves by cutting across the existing graves of 48 bodies. They found that 61 bodies were buried in the 16 new multiple graves.

The bureau charged Evergreen Memorial Care with grave desecration, unlawful interment of more than one body in a single grave without proper authority, failure to properly dispose of human remains, failure to inter cremated remains, failure to keep adequate records of ownership of transfer of plots, and unlawful expenditure of Woodlawn and Evergreen endowment funds.

The settlement applies only to licensing disciplinary proceedings before the bureau and has no effect on civil or criminal actions. At least one civil lawsuit is pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Man Says Aunt’s Grave is Missing From Evergreen Cemetery

Evergreen Cemetery Los Angeles HeadstoneAs I traverse the Internet looking for clues at to why headstones and deceased relatives are missing from Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles, I came upon this Yelp review.

My friend loves old cemeteries. I think they are kind of cool, so I don’t mind tagging along with her to go look at old headstones. They are pretty, and many of the older ones are very unique in comparison to the modern headstones.

This is a very old cemetery from the late 1800′s. It is massive and would take hours to go through the entire thing. We spent about an hour in here the other day.

It’s sad how run down this place is. Some of the sections we looked at no longer have grass and have been taken over by weeds. There are headstones completely covered in crabgrass and you can no longer see them. There are headstones that have fallen over and are broken.

We saw a family visiting a grave and they brought their own hose to keep the grass alive around their loved ones plot.

We met a man who said his aunt’s grave was missing and he was looking all over for it.

Pretty place, historical, but very deteriorated and sad.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/evergreen-cemetery-los-angeles#hrid:wT6q2cTll8Sig0S1jyIOug

It’s outrageous how this cemetery takes advantage of the elderly and the dead. It wouldn’t surprise me if the owners purchased their own cemetery plots from the Forest Lawn Cemetery.