Seniors get early Thanksgiving in Hacienda Heights


Seniors in Hacienda Heights had another thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Kwis Elementary and Manzanita Park combined forces to honor the older residents a couple days before the holiday.

The local seniors were shown a good time by students at Kwis and teens from the teen club at the local park. Later, they received turkey and food to take home for Thanksgiving.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story Kwis.

Hacienda Heights Woman’s Club holds Christmas luncheon

The Hacienda Heights Woman’s Club invites ladies to the annual Christmas luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 10:45 a.m. in the clubhouse at 1917 S. La Mesita Drive, Hacienda Heights.

The holiday event will benefit the Women’s and Children’s Crisis Center as well as the Bridge of Faith Foster Home and the club’s scholarship program.

The Los Altos Choir will perform. Reservations are $15. Call Cathy Jamieson at 626-961-4327.

Former ambassador visits Hacienda Heights


For most elementary school students, a lesson about Afghanistan probably involves cracking open their history books or bringing a newspaper to class.

On Thursday, the students at St. Mark’s Lutheran School in Hacienda Heights got a far more gritty lesson when the former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry stopped by for a visit with his wife Ching Eikenberry.

During Thursday’s assembly, which was attended by students in grades five through eight, the Eikenberrys shared their experiences in the war-torn country – Karl Eikenberry from a military and diplomatic perspective, Ching Eikenberry through the lens of women living there.

Last month, the former ambassador publicly questioned the ability of the Afghan government to handle its own security in time for the planned pullout of international troops in 2014. And on Thursday, Eikenberry said that the future of Afghanistan could potentially involve the young students before him.

“It’s likely that we’re going to have military troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if the government and people invite us,” he said. “I think it’s entirely possible some young men and women sitting here today well could be someone that serves there.”

Read more in J.D. Velasco’s story Ambassador.

Authorities say women who fell down hillside were drinking

More details emerged about Tuesday’s rescue of two women who fell 100 to 200 feet down Turnbull Canyon Road.

The rescue was reported at 2:14 p.m. Tuesday. Fire officials originally said the 18-year-old and the 22-year-old were hikers.

Now authorities say the women weren’t hiking.

Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Marcos Espiritu said friends of the women told him the two were drinking and standing on top of the hill when they fell.

“I believe one was depressed and drinking tequila when she fell. The other (woman) went after her,” Espiritu said.

He said firefighters rappelled down to where the women lay.

The injured women were put on stretchers and pulled up. Because of how far they fell, they were taken to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center which is a trauma center.

Espiritu didn’t know if the women were still at the hospital on Wednesday.

St. John Vianney can’t shelter homeless this year

For the first time in 19 years, the homeless will not find shelter at St. John Vianney Catholic Church this winter.

Delays in processing an insurance claim for a devastating arson fire that destroyed the church’s sanctuary have led to the cancelation of the church’s homeless shelter, according to church officials.

The service-oriented church at Turnbull Canyon Road and Palm Avenue has participated in the East San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless’s winter shelter program since its inception, said Carol Lazarovits, the church’s outreach coordinator.

The nonprofit Coalition – which rotates the shelter between area churches – has already found another church to take St. John Vianney’s slot from Jan. 18 to Feb. 1, Lazarovits said.

“The Coalition wouldn’t let that happen,” Lazarovitis said of the possibility of leaving the homeless without shelter.

The First Chinese Baptist Church in Walnut will be pinch hitting for St. John Vianney, confirmed Bob McKennon, who works with the Coalition and is a St. John Vianney church member.

The Coalition has booked seven host churches to provide winter shelters – beds, showers and meals – from December to March. The first shelter opens Dec. 1 at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church, 629 S. Glendora Ave., in West Covina.

Removing the Hacienda Heights church from the rotation was something Rev. Tim Nichols did not want to see happen.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story homeless.