County supervisors approve bike plan

More than 830 new miles of bikeways could be added to unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County – including several new dedicated bike paths in the San Gabriel Valley – under a 20-year plan approved by the Board of Supervisors last week.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said the


plan will “give us a real road map – no pun intended – to take our bicycle planning and implementation to a new level.”

It marks the first update to the County of Los Angeles Bicycle Master Plan in 37 years, replacing a plan from 1975. But while the approval is a first step, actually building the bike paths and lanes would cost the county $331 million, and no funding has been identified.

The new document allows the county and other agencies, such as the Lower Los Angeles/San Gabriel Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC) based in Azusa, to apply for state and federal grants to fund construction of bike facilities.

County staff said the vast majority of funding would come from state and federal sources, with improvements such as bike-route signage and pavement striping only adding “incidental” expense to county road costs.

In the plan is a 15.6-mile bike path running east to west along the San Jose Creek, from Murchison Avenue to 7th Avenue in Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights and parts of unincorporated Walnut. The bike path or Class 1 project includes 2.6 miles of Thompson Creek in Pomona and would run parallel to the 60 Freeway.

It’s one of the largest bike paths in the plan and has received a high ranking, which could move it quicker to funding. “The ranking will definitely help with funding,” said Mark Stanley, RMC executive director.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story BIKEWAY.

Parents protest discrimination by Hacienda La Puente Unified

Parents of students who attend Lassalette School in La Puente say they have been discriminated against. Their children for years have had to change into their physical education uniforms in two small bathrooms, causing them to come home smelling like urine.

“My son comes home with urine on his clothes after changing in the bathroom where there is urine and feces on the floor,” Consuelo Ayala said through tears as she explained the daily ordeal her son faces. “It’s sad that the years go by and nothing is resolved.”

Since Lassalette was transformed more than a decade ago into a K-8 school, parents have been asking the district to provide two portable rooms to serve as changing rooms for the 225 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students. Right now, they change in bathrooms or empty classrooms.

The request has been denied on numerous occasions as Hacienda La Puente Unified School District officials said there was little funding available for the portables, one of which can cost about $170,000.

But La Puente parents have recently learned from school board member Rudy Chavarria that Wedgeworth Elementary School, a small specialty elementary school in Hacienda Heights, could be getting two new portables valued at between $250,000 and $1 million.

And now they are taking their complaints back to the school board – highlighting a long-standing criticism that the district favors its schools in Hacienda Heights, to the detriment of schools in La Puente.

Read more in Juliette Funes’ story DIVIDE.

Rowland Heights doctor arrested on suspicion of murder

Officials arrested a doctor on suspicion of three counts of murder Thursday in connection with the deaths of three patients who overdosed on drugs she prescribed at her Rowland Heights office, authorities said.

Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng, 42, of Walnut, was arrested by California Medical Board investigators and accused of three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of three men in their 20s, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

“All were patients of Tseng, who prescribed a myriad of drugs for the three young men,” District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.

Patients of Tseng’s received prescriptions for “cocktails of drugs,” which included, in part, Methadone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Oxymorphone and Suboxone, Gibbons said.

Tseng is being held in lieu of $3 million bail pending a scheduled arraignment today in Los Angeles Superior Court, officials said.

If convicted as charged, Tseng could face 45 years to life in state prison.

Read more in ARREST.

Hacienda Heights couple welcomes first Leap Year baby


A baby born at 12:33 a.m. Wednesday at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital was the unofficial first bundle of joy in the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas to arrive on Leap Day.

Don and and Monica Volmer of Hacienda Heights welcomed Ryan Donald Volmer in the Ruth B. Shannon Maternity Care Center on a day that comes around only every four years.

He “leaped” into his parents’ life weighing 6 lbs., 5.7 ounces and 19 inches.

“We were surprised,” said the proud dad of the Feb. 29 birth, even though he had joked it would happen.

“We’ll just go with it and celebrate on the weekend near his birthday,” Don Volmer said about when they would celebrate Ryan’s birthday. “But on his fourth birthday, we’re definitely having a big party!”

Ryan is the second child for the couple. They have another son, 10-month-old Michael Roy Volmer, who was also born at PIH.