Steinmetz Park offers programs for tots in Hacienda Heights

Residents ranging in age from 3 to 103 are enjoying activities at Steinmetz Park in Hacienda Heights. The senior center has always been a hub for seniors in the area. Just last Thursday, the center had a large health fair for senior residents of the area.

Now the Los Angeles County Park is reaching out to tiny tots and teens as it expands its programs.

“We have 90 kids playing in the new Tiny Tykes Soccer league that just started on Saturday,” said Recreation Director Letty Guerrero.

The league is for children 3 to 6 years old. The kids were excited to play in their new team jerseys. They follow a Tiny Tykes Basketball league that was another big hit with local children.

“We’re very proud of the services we offer at the park,” Guerrero said. “But we want to serve the entire community, not just the seniors, but the kids too.”

So the new park director has been concentrating on new services for children. She talked about the new offerings while watching students in the new after-school program.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story STEINMETZ.

Knabe will introduce motion to Supervisors to keep PH Landfill closed

By Steve Scauzillo, SGVN
Posted: 09/20/2012 07:50:56 PM PDT

Supervisor Don Knabe, who has expressed strong opposition to a San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments motion to extend the operation of the Puente Hills Landfill for five more years, is asking the full Board of Supervisors to support him.

Knabe’s motion to support the scheduled closure of the county Sanitation District’s main landfill in October 2013, will go before the Board on Tuesday.

Several members of the Hacienda Heights Improvement Association said they were cautiously optimistic Knabe’s motion will be supported by a majority of the Board of Supervisors. However, they plan on attending the meeting in downtown Los Angeles to make sure they do.

Barbara Messina, president of the SGVCOG, said Thursday that the item on the joint-powers authority’s agenda would be pulled. She advised those waiting to speak to come back next month.

“I think this item needs discussion, which we haven’t had as a board. I apologize to those that came out this evening if you were here to speak on this item, ” Messina said.

The COG’s Solid Waste Advisory Group had recommended the COG board send a letter to all five county supervisors, asking them to support moving the closure date from Oct. 31, 2013 to Oct. 31, 2018. An accompanying memo by COG Interim Executive Director Fran DeLach said the committee was concerned about loss of jobs at the landfill and the effect closure will have on trash hauling rates in their cities.

In his motion, Knabe said the people of Hacienda


Heights have lived with the landfill for more than 50 years. He said the landfill — the largest in the nation — had considered closing it in 1983, 1993 and 2003 but each time, extended its conditional use permit 10 years. In 2003, the county and the Sanitation Districts said it would be the last time.
“To go back now and ask for yet more time would be completely disingenuous and unfair to the community,” read Knabe’s motion before the full board. “We must keep the promise that this County made. The Board should send a strong message that we stand by our word and move forward with a fair and equitable solution to managing the region’s solid waste,” he wrote in the motion.

Jeff Yann, a member of the Hacienda Heights group and a former engineer who worked on disposal alternatives for Southern California Edison, said Thursday it was ironic that the COG was one of the first groups back in the early 1990s to recommend alternatives.

“This group was at the forefront of developing landfill alternatives. They are turning their tails,” he said in the lobby during a break in the COG meeting.

Mike Williams, an HHIA member and a one-time member of COG, said the county and the cities have known about the eventual closure for 30 years. Putting off decisions to bury the waste in other landfills, and eventually to ship it by rail to a landfill 250 miles away in the desert, is not constructive.

“This (COG) proposal simply kicks the can down the road for another five years. Isn’t this the kind of leadership that has plagued California in the past and continues today?” he said.

Teachers reach impasse in contract talks at Hacienda La Puente Unified

The teachers union representing the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District has walked away from the negotiating table and is expected to declare an impasse, union officials said Wednesday.

The Hacienda La Puente Teachers Association said it intended to file impasse papers Thursday, said Eileen Fetters, HLPTA executive officer.

Such a filing will require the Public Employee Relations Board to send in a third-party mediator to help bring the two sides to an agreement.

That could delay contract negotiations for weeks or months, Fetters said. The teachers and the district have been in contract talks for 19 months.

The teachers and the district do not see eye to eye over salary and benefits, Fetters said.

At issue is a $1,750 yearly payment from the district to each teacher to offset a higher individual share of health care insurance costs. The payment will expire Jan. 1, 2013, Fetters said.

But HLPUSD Supervisor Barbara Nakaoka said the teachers union is really asking for a $5,000 a year bump in salary.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story IMPASSE.

Hacienda Heights fights keeping Puente Hills Landfill open

The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments is asking the county to keep the Puente Hills Landfill open long after its scheduled closure next fall.

In a surprise move, the COG drafted a letter to the five county supervisors asking them to extend the landfill permit for five more years, until Oct. 31, 2018. Keeping the landfill open longer will help keep down trash rates paid by homeowners, according to an accompanying memo.

Almost immediately, the COG request elicited strong objections from the unincorporated community of Hacienda Heights, which is located adjacent to the landfill – the largest in the nation.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story LANDFILL.

Teen advisory board at Rowland Heights Library looking for members

Rowland Heights Library is looking for high school students to help plan programs for children and teens. Come help make the library a more welcoming place for kids of all ages.

The teen advisory board will meet 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20.

The library is at 1850 Nogales St. For more information,call Barbara Courson at 626-912-5348.

Rowland Unified gets direction from community mapping

Maps are marvelous tools. They show you where you are and tell you how to get where you want to go.
Nothing beats a map. Well maybe GPS, but even that is essentially a digital map.

So Rowland Unified School District decided to draw its own map. A metaphysical map that would mark the varied cultures and concerns of our community.

They call it community mapping. And Rowland hopes it will help schools match the needs of the community with the resources available in our neighborhoods. Call it a new partnership for these difficult times, when we all need a special synergy to provide for the education of our kids.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story MAPPING.

Romney’s niece to speak in Whittier tomorrow

Mitt Romney’s niece Kristen Hubbs will speak at a luncheon in Whittier tomorrow sponsored by the Puente Hills Republican Women Federated. She will be joined by Congressman Ed Royce and Assembly candidate Noel Jaimes.

The public is invited to attend. The cost is $30, $15 for students. Lunched is included in admission.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 8155 S. Painter Ave.

Man arrested on suspicion of stabbing brother in Rowland Heights

A Rowland Heights man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly stabbed his brother and his brother’s pregnant girlfriend during an argument.

The man barricaded himself in the house but later surrendered to deputies.

The stabbing was first reported about 2:55 p.m. in the 18000 block of Los Palacios Drive.

Lt. John Saleeby of the sheriff’s Walnut/Diamond Bar station said crisis negotiators were on the phone with the suspect prior to his surrender.

David Campos, 21, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He was being held at the sheriff’s Walnut/Diamond Bar station in lieu of $30,000 bail.

Saleeby didn’t know what sparked the dispute between the siblings.

The victims were flown by helicopter to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, where Saleeby said Friday both were expected to survive. The lieutenant said the brother was in “guarded” condition while the woman was listed in stable condition. Her fetus was not believed to have been harmed.

Read more in STABBING.

Libyan-Americans angered by embassy attacks

Libyan-American Mohamed Gibani, 62, who runs Aljibani Halal Market in Diamond Bar, said he felt “rage” over Tuesday’s deadly attack against the ambassador and his staff.

“We fought (deposed Libyan dictator Moammar) Gadhafi for the last 42 years, and we don’t want to let some thugs bring us back to the old ages of Gadhafi – the killing, the burning,” he said. “This is completely rejected by all Libyans all over the U.S. and Libya itself.”

Gibani, a Muslim, said he thought the YouTube film, which depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer, was a despicable act and “a cheap shot.” But the film, he said, was not the fault of Stevens nor the U.S. government and does not justify violence.

“We have media; people can go back and defend the prophet peacefully,” he said.

For Gibani’s brother, Mahmud Gibani of Diamond Bar, hearing the news of the ambassador’s death ushered in “the saddest day I ever felt.”

Libya had recently emerged victorious from a bloody revolution, he said, and things were finally going well.

Then, “all of a sudden, this happens to the ambassador to the U.S. in Benghazi,” whom Mahmud said had a reputation of being a humble and wise man who was known to walk around Tripoli without any guards.

The Gibani brothers, who run the market in Diamond Bar, said they personally suspect that Gadhafi’s supporters may have had something to do with the attack.

In the same moment, in their native Tripoli, Mohamed and Mahmud’s niece Rahma Gibani, who formerly lived in Fontana, said by phone that she was standing “in silent protest” with a few hundred Libyans holding signs in a town square in opposition to the violence against the U.S. consulate.

Some of the signs said “I’m a Libyan and I’m against what happened” or the violence “is against Sharia (Islamic) law,” she said.

“I’m very sad, of course, about what happened,” said Rahma, who was demonstrating with her husband and other relatives Wednesday. “I hope the (Libyan) government steps in. We just want to make sure the U.S. knows we’re against what happened.”

Rahma, 22, said many people driving by were honking their horns in support of the demonstrators, but one person did make a negative comment, asking the crowd “Who is more important, the prophet or the ambassador?” she said.

Read more in ANGER.

L.A. County Fair celebrates Diamond Bar’s heroes

They’re our heroes. People in our community that have made a true difference.

Volunteers who have donated countless hours to make our families’ lives a little sweeter in Diamond Bar.

So they deserved the grand parade held Thursday to honor these heroes at the Los Angeles County Fair. A special day set aside to honor Diamond Bar and its people.

Read all about our Diamond Bar heroes in FAIR.