Shepherd of Valley holds international festival Saturday in Hacienda Heights

Shepherd of the Valley Presbyterian Church will hold an International Festival on Saturday in Hacienda Heights at 1723 Park Lawn Road.

Countries represented with food booths and performances include: USA, Mexico, Philippines, Egypt, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Korea and Japan. Admission is free.

Food booths will be open from 11 am to 1 pm, with cultural performances until 3:15 pm.

Water officials don’t expect rationing this summer in Rowland Heights, Diamond Bar and Walnut

Memorial Day was the unofficial start of summer. Besides honoring those who gave their lives for their country, it means barbecues and picnics. Warmer weather. Pools and sprinklers. More water usage.

With all the reporting about this being a dry year, with snowpack way down and reservoir levels dropping, one would think summer water rationing is coming. One would be wrong.

I spoke to some water managers. While most want to continue the mantra of water conservation, none are in panic mode. Don’t expect to see any mandatory rationing this summer.

Why? The water agencies have done a good job storing more water. Like squirrels hiding their nuts, they’ve found extra places to stash potable water.

Rick Hansen, general manager of Three Valleys Municipal Water District in Claremont, explains.

“About 15-20 years ago, the Metropolitan Water District had a million acre feet in storage. Now, they have 5 million acre-feet in storage,” he said. One big reason for that was the construction of the Diamond Valley Lake reservoir in Perris. Another reason is the large water agency has stored more water from the Colorado River in Lake Mead, which is next to Hoover Dam.

“These programs really give us a cushion and a comfort level,” Hansen said.

He should know. His agency, a member of Metropolitan, relies heavily on Northern California and Colorado River water. These areas, such as Rowland Heights, Walnut, Diamond Bar, Claremont, Pomona and parts of West Covina, don’t have hardly any well water. Some of these areas are 100 percent reliant on Metropolitan’s water banking.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s column WATER.

Congressmen get first-hand look at 57/60 interchange in Diamond Bar

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee got a firsthand look at the 57/60 freeway interchange on Tuesday, 2.5 miles of dangerous lane alignments that have 600 accidents a year and is ranked the seventh-most congested interchange in the United States.

As he stood on Grand Avenue overlooking the unusually combined portion of the two major freeways, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., got a sense of the third-worst traffic spot in the state, even while remarking on Southern California’s ideal weather.

But what impressed Shuster most was the scaled-down fix presented to him by the cities of Industry and Diamond Bar during a meeting at Diamond Bar City Hall hosted by Rep. Ed Royce, R-Rowland Heights, also a member of the committee.

“I appreciate you are trying to solve the problem without breaking the bank,” Shuster said.

The projected cost is $265 million and will include separate fixes that will add lanes by preventing the lane drop-offs that cause bottlenecks. Over the 2.5 miles, 16 lanes of freeway traffic get squeezed into 12. The improvements included creation of a bypass lane to reduce the need for motorists to cross several lanes as they exit or enter the freeway at Grand Avenue.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story BOTTLENECK

Puente Hills Concerts in Park presents Memorial Day concert

Marine Color Guard,  Cpl. Fernando Cavazos, stands tall as the Colors are presented at Puente Hills Concerts in the Park presented the 5th annual Memorial Day Concert.

Marine Color Guard, Cpl. Fernando Cavazos, stands tall as the Colors are presented at Puente Hills Concerts in the Park presented the 5th annual Memorial Day Concert.

Puente Hills Concerts in the Park held its fifth annual Memorial Day concert on Sunday in the Puente Hills Mall. The Society for the Preservation of Big Bands performed for area residents.

This year’s guest of honor was retired Air Force Colonel Kenneth Hughey, a pilot shot down over North Vietnam on July 6, 1967. Hughey was taken as a prisoner of war and transferred between four prisons over the next six years. He spent 14 months in a one-man cell in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, including five months in complete isolation.

Ling-Ling Chang running for state assembly

Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling Ling Chang announces her candidacy for State Assembly,.

Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling Ling Chang announces her candidacy for State Assembly,.

Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang threw her hat in the ring for the 55th Assembly District on Friday afternoon.

Chang announced that she was running for Curt Hagman’s State Assembly Seat at Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry. The district includes portions of Brea, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, Industry, La Habra, Placentia, Rowland Heights, Walnut, West Covina, and Yorba Linda.

Hagman had been elected to the state Assembly in 2008 and has termed out. He was a former city council member from Chino Hills.

Chang said she has been encouraged to run by friends and other elected officials. The 36-year-old has garnered endorsements from Congressman Ed Royce and State Senator Bob Huff, as well as Los Angeles County Supervisors Don Knabe and Michael Antonovich.

Memorial Day concert planned at Puente Hills Mall

Puente Hills Concerts in the Park will present the fifth annual Memorial Day concert on May 26 in the Puente Hills Mall.

The Society for the Preservation of Big Bands will perform at 2 p.m. Residents may sign up to win a $150 gift card at the mall.

This year’s honoree is Colonel Kenneth Hughey, a retired Air Force pilot shot down over Vietnam and held as a prisoner of war for six years, including 14 months in a one man cell in the infamous Ha Noi Hilton.

For more information, call 626-336-4937.

Hacienda Heights soldier killed in Afghanistan

A U.S. soldier killed by a improvised explosive device in Afghanistan has been identified as Spc. William Gilbert, 24, of Hacienda Heights, according to the Department of Defense.

Three other soldiers were also killed in the blast, Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Baker, 29, of Hesperia, Spc. Mitchell Daehling, 24, of Mass., and one who is yet to be identified, Major Joe Buccino said.

Gilbert enlisted in August 2010 and was on his first combat tour. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, from Fort Bliss, Texas. He was deployed in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Read more in GILBERT. 

LA Opera performing at Diamond Bar Library

Opera Tales celebrates the joy of music at the Diamond Bar Library on Saturday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Working with the L.A. County Library, LA Opera has developed this fun, high energy show that tours libraries for free family performances.

Verdi Opera Tales is an entertaining introduction to the wonderful stories and melodies of one of opera’s most beloved composers, Giuseppe Verdi. In celebration of the composer’s upcoming 200th birthday, Verdi Opera Tales celebrates the power of story and music wedded together.

Travel with our “opera pals” from LA Opera through the magical moments of some of Verdi’s greatest stories, including Rigoletto, La Traviata, Aida, Falstaff and more!

The performance will be held in the Windmill Meeting Room off the City Hall lobby at 21800 Copley Dr. in Diamond Bar. For more information, call 909- 861-4978.

Free five minute CPR training in Diamond Bar

If someone you know had a sudden cardiac arrest, would you be ready to perform CPR? The L.A. County Emergency Medical Services encourages everyone to learn this life-saving technique by participating in one of its several Sidewalk CPR Public Education Events slated for Tuesday, June 4.

In Diamond Bar, the event will be held in the Diamond Bar Center from 9 am to noon. Emergency personnel will be on site teaching attendees “hands-only” CPR on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration is not required, and the training lasts only a few minutes.  The Diamond Bar Center is located at 1600 Grand Avenue. For more information or for a list of other participating sites, visit

Walnut and Diamond Bar drivers interested in electric cars for $100 a month

The city of Industry and the South Coast Air Quality Management District are doing. These two unlikely bedfellows are launching a $13 million, two-year program to subsidize the lease of up to 60 new all-electric cars.

Anyone leasing a Nissan Leaf, for example, would get between $100 and $125 per month rebate, lowering one’s monthly car payment to no more than $100 a month. Plus, they will throw in free charging and free parking.

A survey attracted more than 28 customers – the initial target of the first phase – but Industry and its partners could accommodate 60 new electric cars.

Early surveys show interest from Walnut, Diamond Bar and West Covina residents living about 10 miles from the station. Because the Leaf has a range of about 60-80 miles, there is little anxiety.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s ELECTRIC.