Don’t drink and drive

Don’t drink and drive this New Year’s. California Highway Patrol officers will be on the road keeping an eye out for drunken drivers during the department’s Maximum Enforcement Period, which starts Wednesday night and ends at midnight Sunday.

All available CHP officers will be out on the road. The department is also asking people to call 9-1-1 and report drivers they suspect are driving under the influence.

Last year’s enforcement led to the arrests of 1,661 drivers statewide for driving under the influence. There were 43 people killed in 4,613 crashes. And 18 of those fatalities were alcohol-related, according to the CHP.

Police will focusing on all types of infractions. Most DUI arrests happen when drivers are pulled over for other violations.

Other law enforcement agencies also will be on the lookout for those who drink and get behind the wheel.

Drivers seeing double on Pomona Freeway

Drivers will be seeing double on the Pomona Freeway from now on. And traffic fines will cost them twice as much.
The California Department of Transportation has installed 57 signs along the busy freeway, where carpool lanes are under construction.
The signs warn motorists that traffic fines are doubled in a construction zone.
“Now any traffic fines will automatically be doubled if you’re stopped by the California Highway Patrol,” explained Officer Joe Zizi. “For example, if you’re fined $2,000 for driving under the influence, the fine will automatically be doubled to $4,000.”
The Highway Patrol wants motorists to slow down in the busy construction zone, which extends through Hacienda and Rowland Heights.
“It’s all part of our Slow For the Cone Zone campaign. Anything to get motorists to slow down, especially in a construction zone, where the danger is magnified,” said Judy Gish, a Caltrans spokesperson.
Gish noted that more than 100 Caltrans workers have been killed while working on the state’s highways.
On Dec. 15, CHP Officer Joseph Sanders was killed in an accident along the Pomona Freeway near Azusa Avenue. Sanders and his partner were helping the driver of a pickup truck that had crashed in the eastbound lanes in Hacienda Heights.
As the CHP officer was putting down flares, there was another crash on the wet roadway. A car hit the officer, who was later pronounced dead at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.

Chili’s gives officers a warm reception


Puente Hills Chili’s joined restaurants in Whittier and Chino Hills to raise money for the family of CHP Officer Joseph Sanders, 29, who was buried Monday in Lodi. Each restaurant donated 10 percent of their sales receipts.

“We had sales of $18,200 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.,” reported Manager Edward Esparza. “Our restaurant will filled with officers and firemen all day. Any time we can help our community we’re happy to help.”

“Chili’s said they read about Officer Sanders in the newspaper and asked if they could do something for his family,” explained CHP Officer Joe Zizi.

Soon the three local Chili’s had signed up for the fund-raising event on Dec. 23.

Don’t cry over spilt milk

Add freezing temperatures and an earthquake and you would have had a giant milkshake.

A freeway off-ramp in Rowland Heights was closed for several hours on Sunday after a tanker truck spilled thousands of gallons of milk onto the roadway.

The truck overturned about 6:20 a.m. on the 60 Freeway. No injuries were reported. As much as 6,000 gallons of milk may have spilled across the road and down a storm drain, police said.

Caltrans crews closed the Nogales Street off-ramp from the eastbound 60 Freeway to clean up the mess. The off-ramp later was reopened sometime before 2 p.m.

The crash occurred in a construction zone, where lanes are restricted as the freeway is being widened for a carpool lane.

Here comes Santa Claus


Lillian Chuang, 3, poses with Santa Claus for a photo during the “Here Comes Santa” event at Rowland Heights Park on Dec. 15. At left, 9-year-old Nathan Weng is surprised by the gift given to his brother Richard Weng, 6, during the big holiday event. Children received presents and a photo with St. Nick, while parents collected some food. The annual event was also held earlier at Manzanita Park in Hacienda Heights. (Photo by Ron Fu / Correspondent)

Whittier College honors Grand Master


Whittier College has awarded its higher honor, doctorate of humane letters (LL.D.), to the Venerable Grand Master Hsing Yun, who is the head of one of the largest Buddhist sects in the world. A small delegation of Whittier faculty and administrators presented him with the honorary degree at the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights on Saturday, December 20. The presentation was kept very modest, albeit in high regalia, in deference to Buddhist tradition.

“In giving this honor to the Venerable Master, we are celebrating his leadership, his goodness, and his example,” said President Sharon Herzberger. “We are also celebrating the budding partnership that has grown between Whittier College and Hsi Lai and Fo Guang Shan Temples and our commitment to the work that they do.”

Whittier College awards honorary degrees to exceptional individuals whose values and accomplishments parallel the College’s educational mission.

Hacienda kids help LA homeless


Momma always said to button up your coat when it was cold and wet outside. A lesson not lost on the youngsters at Los Altos Elementary School.
With the frigid temperatures and rainy weather, the students arrive at the Hacienda Heights school all bundled up this holiday season.
But what if you don’t have a coat? What if you didn’t even have a home? Then what DO you DO?
While the kids can’t find homes for the homeless, they figured they could collect warm clothes for those forced to live on the streets this Christmas.
“I volunteer at the Fred Jordan Mission in Los Angeles on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I noticed that the homeless needed warm clothes, coats and blankets more than ever,” explained fifth-grade teacher Carri Peck.
So Peck and the student council decided to help the homeless.
“The kids were especially interested in collecting clothes for children in the growing number of homeless families,” Peck said.
Usually the school collected canned goods for the holidays, but this year they “canned” that project for the clothing drive.
“We have bright, caring students. They thought this was a great idea and put collection boxes in every classroom,” the teacher touted.
Scarves, hats, mittens, coats, pants, shirts, blankets — the little Santas piled their woolen treasures up in the school’s storage area.
Student council members gathered the gently-worn garments and bundled them into plastic bags for the long trip downtown.

Christmas movie marathon

The Hacienda Heights Library will hold a Christmas Movie Marathon from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23.

Come take a break from shopping and get in the holiday spirit with a day-long marathon of Christmas movies. All films are rated either G or PG, and will be presented on a wide screen in the meeting room.

The library is at 16010 La Monde St. For more information, call Paula Vannucci at (626) 968-9356.

Chili’s holds benefit for fallen officer

On Dec. 15, CHP Officer Joe Sanders was struck and killed by a motorist while working on the 60 freeway Hacienda Heights. Officer Sanders leaves behind three children and a pregnant wife.

Many companies and private citizens have asked to help the Sanders family. The CHP said a corporation wanted to make a very generous donation to the officer’s family, and involve those individuals who wish to help.

Chili’s Grill & Bar said three local area restaurants will host “Joe Sanders Night,” on Tuesday,
Dec. 23, from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Ten percent of the food proceeds sold that night will be donated to the Sanders Family.

Donors must present a certificate. Participating locations include Puente Hills Chili’s, Chino Hills Chili’s, and the Whittier Chili’s.

Build a candy house

Build a Candy House at the Rowland Heights Library. Cildren (K – 6th grade) and their parents are invited to drop in from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday to build a candy house made of graham crackers, frosting and candy toppings.

Volunteer Service will be provided by the California Scholarship Federation of Diamond Bar High School.

The library is at 1850 Nogales Street. For more information, call Jeff Jarrett at (626) 912-5348.