Diamond Bar Library opens


The Los Angeles County Library held a special dedication and grand opening of the city’s new library over the weekend.

The new library is located on the first floor of city hall on Copley Drive. The city agreed to lease the space to the county library for $1 a year. The county contributed $5 million to turn the old call center into a state-of-the-art library.

Find a photo gallery at OPENING.

Diamond Bar had outgrown its old library on Grand Avenue and the 9,900-square-foot facility could no longer handle all the traffic. Last fiscal year, it was the eighth-busiest branch in the county, with 250,000 visits, according to library manager Jesse Lanz. And parking was at a premium with only 35 spaces.

The new library offers more than 18,000 square feet, as well as 288 parking spaces.

Cal Poly Pomona grad wins gold medal in skeet shooting

Cal Poly Pomona graduate Kimberly Rhode won the gold medal in women’s skeet shooting on Sunday, making her the first American to take an individual-sport medal in five consecutive Olympics.

Rhode, 33, tied the world record and set an Olympic record with 99 points. Wei Ning of China took silver with 91 points, and Danka Bartekova of Slovakia got bronze by beating Marina Belikova of Russia in a shootout after they tied with 90 points.

Rhode, a Monrovia resident who was born in Whittier, has studied food marketing and agribusiness management at Cal Poly Pomona.

“I don’t think it has hit me yet, but I’m sure it will – the record and everything it represents,” said Rhode, who will be back on the range today preparing for the trap event. “The last few shots I was trying to keep myself from crying.

“Every emotion hit me at once when I was out there.”

Diamond Bar athlete stands out at London Olympics

Diamond Bar’s Alex Morgan is quickly becoming the most well known athlete in the London Olympics. The 23-year-old turned heads in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and appears to be on her way to becoming soccer’s next Mia Hamm.

Morgan scored two goals in the U.S. women’s soccer team’s 4-2 victory over France on Wednesday and is an offensive powerhouse. Morgan and her teammates will be back in action at 9 a.m. PDT Saturday against Colombia, then they take on North Korea in Group G play at 9:15 a.m. PDT Tuesday.

If all goes well, they’ll advance to the quarterfinals on Aug. 3, the semifinals on Aug. 6 and the gold medal match at 11:45 a.m. PDT Aug. 9.

Diamond Bar player leads U.S. to 4-2 victory over France

Alex Morgan’s Olympic debut could not have been better.

The Diamond Bar woman continued her torrid scoring streak this year with two goals to lead the United States to a 4-2 victory over France to open the London Games in style after a scare in the first 14 minutes.

Morgan scored a brilliant equalizer in the 31st minute and then tapped in a second-half goal in the 66th minute as the Americans got past their toughest group challenge.

The United States defeated France in the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup in Germany.

L.A. County asks homeowners to prepare for wildfires

In 1989, a fire in the Turnbull Canyon area destroyed 13 homes and caused at least $4.3 million in damage, a Los Angeles County fire official reminded area residents Monday.

“If you are a homeowner, you need to be prepared,” said Angel Montoya, deputy chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Montoya and other Los Angeles County fire officials, along with the county Commission on Insurance, gathered at the summit of Turnbull Canyon Road to remind residents to take precautions against wildfires by creating defensible spaces around homes and other structures, creating fire and evacuation plans and having adequate insurance.

The surrounding miles of hilly brush dotted with Puente Hills estates and almost 4,000 acres of open space illustrated the potential for wildfires in the area and the difficulty the terrain poses for fighting them.

“We’re here to remind people that fire season is upon us,” said Scott Svonkin, chairman of the insurance commission.

Svonkin said the wildfires that have been burning in Colorado and elsewhere this year should serve as a warning to L.A. County residents. Currently, the fire threat in the hillsides is moderate to high, according
to Montoya.

“The hillsides look green, but don’t let that deceive you,” he said.
They are full of dry vegetation, he said.

“When fuel moisture drops and it gets hotter and the winds come, that’s the formula for wildfires,” he said. “And that’s our concern.”

Read more in FIRE.

New Diamond Bar Library getting final touches


If you think moving to a new house is hard, try moving a public library. Just ask the folks at the Diamond Bar branch of the Los Angeles County Library.

“We figure we’ve moved 85,000 items since we closed the old library at the end of June,” library manager Jesse Lanz said.

The new library is located on the first floor of Diamond Bar’s new city hall on Copley Drive. It’s been a bustling place the past three weeks as contractors finish the construction and library workers stack the shelves full of books, DVDs and CDs.

“The move actually wasn’t too bad,” Lanz said. “We moved everything section by section. The trick to label everything clearly.”

And the Friends of the Library has been working up to the move for 18 years, according to President Rosette Clippinger.

“This is a major accomplishment, now we’ll have adequate space for all our library programs,” she said.

Clippinger said Diamond Bar had outgrown it old library on Grand Avenue. That 9,900-square-foot facility could now longer handle all the traffic.

“We’re a very busy branch. Last fiscal year, we were the eighth busiest in the county with 250,000 visits,” Lanz said. “We faced a lot of challenges in terms of space.”

Parking was at a premium at the old facility, with only 35 parking spaces there. Families often had to park at the nearby shopping center for the popular children’s programs put on by the library.

All that will change at 10 a.m. Saturday, when the new library celebrates its grand opening. Diamond Bar readers will find a facility with 18,000 square feet. And 288 parking spaces.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story DIAMOND.

Diamond Bar holds teen night out in Sycamore Canyon Park

DB4Youth “In Action” invites local teens to spend a summer evening hanging out and enjoying music, friends, and games from 7 to 10 p.m. tonight.

The city’s teen group will transform Sycamore Canyon Park into a fun scene with disc jockey music, Big Foot racing, Sumo wrestling, water balloons and dancing.

Admission is free, while meals and snacks will be available for purchase. Glow necklaces will be sold for $2 and studio-quality photography for $10 per sheet.

Sycamore Canyon Park is at 22930 E Golden Springs Drive. For more information about this event, call 909-839-7062.

First human case of West Nile virus reported, virus found in Rowland Heights

A San Gabriel Valley person is the first human case of West Nile virus in Los Angeles County in 2012, the county Department of Public Health said Wednesday.

The individual, a middle-aged adult, was hospitalized earlier this month for a short time and has other chronic health conditions not related to West Nile virus, the department said in a news release. The person has been released from the hospital and is expected to recover.

The department would not say where the person lived or whether the patient was a man or a woman.

West Nile virus infects people via the bites of infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes get the virus from infected wild birds.

“While most people bitten by a mosquito are not exposed to West Nile virus, some individuals may become infected with this disease and may experience symptoms that can last for months, or even years, such as fatigue, malaise and depression,” Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, director of public health and health officer for L.A. County, said in a statement.

Earlier in July, West Nile virus was discovered in mosquitoes collected in a trap in Rowland Heights, officials said.

Truc Dever, a spokeswoman for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, said the virus was detected in a sample of 42 mosquitoes collected June 21.

This is the first time the virus has been detected in Rowland Heights this year.

“We’re anticipating a heavy season,” Dever said, based on an “exponential increase up north.”

Read more in MOSQUITO.

Diamond Bar to vote on Grand Ave. onramp

Diamond Bar City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to vote on an agreement with Caltrans for a new westbound onramp to the 60 Freeway from Grand Avenue in Diamond Bar.

The new freeway ramp will allow vehicles traveling southbound on Grand Avenue in Diamond Bar to enter the freeway directly through a right-hand turn.

The additional onramp will help ease congestion for northbound vehicles on Grand Avenue trying to reach the existing onramp.

Total project cost is estimated at $16.5 million.

The Diamond Bar City Council meets across the street from City Hall, at the AQMD/Governmental Center Auditorium, 21865 Copley Drive, Diamond Bar.

Diamond Bar tries to rezone land for low-incoming housing


In order to satisfy a state requirement, the city of Diamond Bar is attempting to rezone 30 acres of rolling hills adjacent to Diamond Ranch High School for high-density, low-income housing.

The city will choose between two possible 30-acre sites, one on the west side of the high school closer to Diamond Bar’s Pantera Park neighborhood, and the other on the southeast side of the school bounded by Chino Hills Parkway and Scenic Ridge Drive that is closer to Pomona residents, including the 243-unit Hidden Valley Townhome development in Phillips Ranch.

Both sites have generated strong opposition from Hidden Valley residents, who say Diamond Bar is shifting the impact of affordable housing onto its neighbors in Pomona, Chino and Chino Hills.

“They are putting it as far away from their city as they can,” asserted Debbie Newton, who with her husband Jerry, have gathered 156 signatures against the affordable housing rezoning.

The city is drafting an environmental impact report on the zone change. All comments, petitions and emails must be received at City Hall by 5 p.m. Tuesday. The City Council will award a contract Tuesday night to J.H. Douglas & Associates to complete a housing element update, including the change.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story AFFORDABLE.