Hacienda Height’s Twinkle shines in new CB


Twinkle has a new CD out. Hacienda Height’s own Alitzah Wiener released her new children’s album “Made in the U.S.A.” on July 31.

The popular entertainer known as Twinkle has been working on the new songs with her husband for the past year.

“We wanted to finish by April, but we couldn’t make it, so we moved it to July with the Fourth of July celebration and the Olympics,” the Wilson High graduate explained.

The Whittier native even made a video tribute to the Olympics.

“I love watching the Olympics, especially gymnastics and swimming,” Wiener added. “I wanted to support the U.S. team so I decided to make a video.”

She researched past Olympic champions and grouped them by the state they were born in. The video blends a montage of Olympic stars, past and present, with her original song “Made in the U.S.A.”

Gabby Douglas, the 16-year-old who took Olympic gold last week in the all-around gymnastics competition, can be seen leaping across the screen. Douglas joins other Olympic legends such as Carl Lewis.

“My sister Danielle did a great job on the video, she’s an actress with a talent for directing,” Wiener said.

She said the new CD is a little different from her first album.

“It’s more mainstream pop like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. And I wrote it for an older audience, since my fans are growing up,” Wiener said.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story TWINKLE.

Alex Morgan gets assist as U.S. wins Olympic gold


Associate Press photo and story

The U.S. women’s football team won the Olympic gold medal Thursday, avenging one of its most painful defeats with a 2-1 victory over Japan. Diamond Bar’s Alex Morgan had one assist, the fifth in the Olympic matches.

See pictures of Alex at MORGAN.

Carli Lloyd scored in the eighth and 54th minutes for the Americans, who lost to the Japanese in penalty kicks at last year’s World Cup final.

Yuki Ogimi scored in the 63rd for Japan. The U.S. team has won three consecutive Olympic titles and four of five since women’s football was introduced at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Walnut Sikh temple remembers those filled


More than 300 people said prayers and raised candles Wednesday night at the Sikh temple in Walnut in remembrance of those worshipers gunned down three days ago at a temple in Wisconsin.

The Sikh community from the San Gabriel Valley and north Orange County gathered as one, singing sacred songs and offering a minute of silence during the evening vigil. One man, in full beard and wearing the traditional black turban, held an American flag and a sign that read: “I pledge against violence.”

“We pray for the souls who sacrificed their lives and we ask for world peace,” rang out the prayer amid a sea of golden light. “We pray for all the sacred places of this planet – so they will never be harmed,” led a member of the congregation.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story SIKH.

Hacienda La Puente schools to open Wednesday


It may be the dog days of summer, but for the 21,000 students at Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, it’s time to go back to school.

“I’m excited to go back to school, but it’s way too early,” admitted Hijoo Le, ASB president at Newton Middle School in Hacienda Heights.

Like Le, most students in Hacienda La Puente Unified have mixed feelings about starting school Wednesday, two weeks earlier than the previous year due to an early start calendar approved by the board last December.

That start date means the San Gabriel Valley’s largest school district is opening almost two weeks before neighboring districts Rowland Unified and Walnut Valley Unified. Those districts begin Aug. 20.

Parents protested the decision to start early, saying it would disrupt family vacations and distract students sitting in warmer classrooms.

School officials and four of five board members say the new school calendar will help high school students do better on AP tests – giving them more time to prepare.

The administration, as well as many parents, also likes the way the fall semester ends at winter recess, so students won’t have to carry over projects or take finals after a long break.

Read more in BACKTOSCHOOL.

Diamond Bar’s Alex Morgan helps U.S. beat New Zealand

These were supposed to be the Hope Solo Olympics for the U.S. women’s soccer team. Or the Alex Morgan Games. Instead, they belong so far to the old reliable, Abby Wambach, who has scored in every match to lead the Americans into the semifinals.

The 32-year-old striker slid onto a pass in the 27th minute Friday to knock home her fourth goal of the tournament and then celebrated with a cartwheel in the United States’ 2-0 win over New Zealand in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament.

Sydney Leroux added an insurance goal in the 87th minute for the two-time defending Olympic champion Americans, who will play the winner of the Britain-Canada match in Manchester on Monday.

Wambach extended her U.S. record with her eighth career Olympic goal–a mark she holds despite missing the Beijing Games with a broken leg–and pushed her international tally to 142, only 16 behind Mia Hamm’s world record.

For most of the year, she has yielded much of the scoring load to youngster Morgan, but Morgan has played the role of catalyst in this tournament, getting three assists and doing much of the hard work to set up Wambach’s goal Friday.

Read more at MORGAN.

Show of support at Chick-fil-A in Walnut


Throngs of supporters flocked to Chick-fil-A locations in La Habra and Walnut to bolster the company’s president, who has come under fire for comments supporting traditional marriage.

The Grand Avenue restaurant had about 200 people standing in a line that went the length of the interior of the restaurant and then outside where it made a big U. There were about 40 cars in the drive-through line.

Pastor Taehyung Ko, of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Rowland Heights said the church leadership decided to support Chick-fil-A, and members of the church were encouraged last Sunday to attend the rally.

“We heard last week through the national news that the Chick-fil-A president shared his Christian views, and certain groups tried to boycott Chick-fil-A,” Ko said.

“So, as a Christian and also as a minister, I’d like to support the Chick-fil-A owner’s Christian view on marriage,” he said.

Read more in SUPPORT.

Two marijuana grow houses found in Hacienda Heights

Deputies jailed a San Gabriel man Tuesday after uprooting two marijuana grow houses in Hacienda Heights valued at about $5 million.

Zhichi Xu, 42, was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sales in connection with the indoor pot-growing operations, which were discovered about 7 a.m. just over two miles apart in the 3300 block of Glenmark Drive and the 14800 block of Rockhill Drive, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Raymond Enriquez.

“Inside of both homes, elaborate marijuana grow systems were discovered and more than 1,400 marijuana plants in various stages of growth were recovered,” the sergeant said in a written statement.

Read more in XU.