Our prayers go out to Andrew Osorio family in Walnut

Received a lovely note from Vejar Elementary in Walnut:

Hi Rich,

Thanks again for supporting us with our Have a Heart campaign for Andrew Osorio.

Andrew is currently in ICU at Children’s hospital.  He has been moved to the top of the transplant list.  Our prayers are with him.  Mom reports that he really wants to get out of the hospital because he says, “it’s time to go to school.”

On Sept. 17 at 7 pm I am making a presentation to the board highlighting a star student from Vejar and community members who have made specific contributions to Vejar.

I am going to honor Andrew as our star student for his bravery, his hard work, and his positive attitude that exemplify not just the Vejar Values, but a strong human spirit.

Additionally, I would like to honor you and Kelli Gile as Vejar’s community helpers.  You both went out of your way to publicize our fundraiser to help Andrew’s family.

You spoke with him and the family with a kindness and empathy that helped all feel at ease.  As a result of the hard work of Andrew’s teacher and your publicity, we were able to give the family almost $3000 from the Vejar Community to help with their expenses related to his health.

I hope that you will join us at the board presentation on Sept. 17 at 7 pm  at the WVUSD district board room.

Sincerely,

Jen De Anda

Principal

 

Diamond Bar deputy join Battle of Badges

As a part to get the staff in shape and encourage better health, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department begins its annual battle of the bulge.

Four teams have joined the Battle of the Badges to see who can lose the most weight over the next 10 weeks. The official weigh-in took place Thursday.

Last year, Eli Celnik lost more than 100 pounds, while Pearl Cruz lost 52.

All 45 competitors will be a winner in the long run. Many are like Sgt. Annadennise Briz, a resident of Diamond Bar.

“I’m tired of the extra weight, I haven’t weighed this much since I was pregnant with my last child,” the 47-year-old admitted.

Briz works in the County Services Bureau in downtown Los Angeles. She is a hostage negotiator.

“I helped with the man who threatened to jump off the overpass in East L.A., closing the freeway for hours,” Briz said.

Despite her high-stress job, Briz agrees “it’s just laziness, it’s so easy to grab something quick to eat rather than make something healthy.”

Briz wants to lose 40 pounds. The 5-foot-2 sergeant weighs 179 pounds.

“I think 140 would be an ideal weight for me,” Briz said.

She’ll join her brothers and sisters in the department as they shed unwanted pounds. They’ll follow the Lindora weight loss program to lose 10 percent of their body weight in 10 weeks.

The program includes diet, moderate exercise and motivational tools. The cost is being paid for by the Lean For Life Foundation, Lindora’s nonprofit group that promotes obesity research.

“One of our hopes in establishing Battle of the Badges was to create healthy heroes out of our participants,” said Lindora CEO Cynthia Stamper Graff, whose new book “The New Lean For Life” was given to all the participants.

“My three daughters are so fit and they want me to live a healthier lifestyle,” Briz said. “I’ve already started jogging three miles with a friend three or four times a week. I also want to join a gym in Diamond Bar.”

The busy sheriff’s deputy hopes it will help with her cholesterol.

 

$7.5 billion bond approved for water projects

By Steve Scauzillo Staff Writer

The $7.5 billion water bond measure approved by state legislators this past week could help pay for ambitious local projects, from cleaning the polluted San Fernando Valley groundwater basin to recycling treated sewage for drinking water.

The Los Angeles region depends largely on scarce and expensive imported water, and the bond funds could help reverse that dependence by increasing the local supply, experts say. At the same time, the money could help restore native rivers, improve water quality, capture stormwater runoff and even build some parks.

“It makes more sense to the community to increase our local self-reliance,” said Nancy Steele, executive director of the Council for Watershed Health in downtown Los Angeles. “This is a good investment by the public in our water infrastructure, and in our natural landscape.”

Young Walnut chef competes on Food Network

Sean Lew of Walnut will compete in "Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off" on Food Network

Sean Lew of Walnut will compete in “Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off” on Food Network

Sean Lew of Walnut loves to dance and cook. The 12-year-old already has a million YouTube views of his video dancing to a Lady GaGa song. And now millions more will watch the young chef compete in the season premiere of “Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off.”

The new season premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. on the Food Network. If you don’t already know, the marquee names refer to best-selling cookbook authors Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri.

The famous chefs will once again take eight young chefs under their wings in the second season of “Kids Cook-Off.” And this year, Walnut’s very own junior chef will join Guy’s team.

“I already act and dance, so this was another challenge for me,” Sean said. “I wanted to learn how to cook after watching the chefs at Benihana in Industry cook right in front of me.”

So the home-schooled eighth-grader began cooking at the age of 7. He began with omelets. Sean now cooks at least twice a week for his family in Walnut.

Mom Miya says her son has never taken a cooking class. In fact, the local artist told her son “If you want to learn how to cook, you have to do it yourself.”

The young chef has learned enough to earn himself a spot in the kids’ cooking competition.

“It was a lot of fun, cooking in the kitchen with Guy,” Sean said. “He really gets you to focus and was always by our side.”

Six episodes were shot over three weeks in Huntington Beach. The show begins with a mini-challenge, where the young chefs had to make a family favorite. Sean made a deep-fried eggplant and pork sandwich.

Then it was on to the main event, a street food showdown judged by chef Wolfgang Puck and his family. This challenge celebrated the mobile food trucks rolling into the culinary world. For his entree, the Walnut chef went with a shrimp and seafood pancake.

For more, read Rich Irwin’s story CHEF.

Walnut Rotary welcomes new international president from Taiwan

New Rotary International President Gary Huang promises to “light up” the worldwide service club. Only a month into his term, Huang lit up the banquet room of the Diamond Bar Golf Course on Friday.

The Rotary Club of Walnut Valley hosted the reception for the new president from Taiwan. Huang noted he was the first Chinese president in the Rotary’s 109 year history.

The service club is one of the oldest and largest organizations in the world, with more than 1.2 million members. Rotary International has led the way on important global issues like polio.

“With the help of the United States government, Rotary International has reduced polio by 90 percent,” Huang said. “And with their continued support, we will eradicate this disease.”

The club has saved millions of children since its first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. In fact, Rotarians have helped immunize more than 2 billion children against polio in 122 countries. Now it wants to eradicate the disease forever.

“The people we are helping are my grandchildren and your children all over the world,” Huang explained. “Because we decided we are going to keep them safe.”

Working with the World Health Organization, Rotary International hopes to announce a polio free world by the end of 2018. Huang pointed out there were more than 450,000 cases of polio in 125 countries only 30 years ago. But now only three countries reported less than 400 cases this year.

“We are this close to ending polio,” Huang said, “and many of you have contribute to this incredible job.”

The new Rotary president lauded people like Rep. Ed Royce (R-Rowland Heights) for being a champion in the fight against polio. Royce later received an award for his hard work from Huang.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story ROTARY.

Ed Royce speaks at reception for Rotary President in Diamond Bar

Gary C.K. Huang, President of Rotary International, will attend the Rotary International reception on Aug. 8  from noon to 2 p.m. at Diamond Bar Golf Course. Huang is the first Taiwanese president of Rotary International in its 109 year history.

With 1.2 million members, Rotary International is one of the largest and oldest Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the world. Rotary International takes leadership role on important global issues.

At the upcoming Rotary International reception, he will talk about the vision for the 2014-2015 Rotary year.  He will also share his values, business experiences and life as Rotarian. U.S. Representative Ed Royce, a long-time friend, will be the event’s guest speaker.

As head of Rotary International, Mr. Huang has dedicated his efforts to developing membership throughout Asia by setting a recruitment goal of 100 new donor-foundations in Taiwan to help celebrate Rotary’s centennial. His accomplishments added more than $2 million to the foundation’s annual fund.

 

Caltrans posts closures for 60 freeway this week

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will close portions of SR-60 from the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) to the Orange Freeway (SR-57) separation, as part of a pavement rehabilitation project.  Closures are as follows and subject to change.

Monday, August 4, through Friday, August 8

Eastbound SR-60

  • 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. – Up to three lanes between I-605 & Azusa Avenue
  • 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. – High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane CLOSEDbetween I-605 & Azusa Avenue

Westbound SR-60

  • 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. – Up to three lanes between southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue
  • 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. – HOV lane CLOSED between southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue

Friday, August 8, through Sunday, August 10

Eastbound SR-60

  • 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.   – Up to three lanes between I-605 & Azusa Avenue
  • 7 p.m. to 9 a.m.     – Seventh Avenue on-ramp CLOSED
  • 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.   – HOV lane CLOSED between Seventh Avenue & Hacienda Boulevard
  • 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Connector from north- and southbound I-605 to eastbound SR-60 CLOSED

Westbound SR-60

  • 12 a.m. to 4 a.m.   – Up to three lanes between southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue
  • 10 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Fairway Drive and Old Brea Canyon Road on-ramps CLOSED
  • 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.   – HOV lane CLOSED between southbound SR-57 & Nogales Street
  • 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. – Connector from north- and southbound SR-57 to westbound SR-60 CLOSED
  •  Friday 11:59 p.m. to Saturday 5 a.m.  –FULL FREEWAY CLOSUREbetween southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue

Detours will be posted. New pavement will improve mobility and enhance safety for motorists.  Flatiron West Inc. is the contractor on this $121.5 million project which is expected to complete fall 2014.

Congresswoman hosts veterans forum in Azusa on Saturday

Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano will present the third annual Veterans Forum from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the U.S. Army National Guard Armory, 1351 W. Sierra Madre Ave., Azusa.

Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs will be available as well as members of other veterans organizations.

There will be workshops on mental health, women warriors, financial planning and more. Veterans also can receive information on individual claims.

For more information, call Hector Elizaide at 626-350-0150 or email Hector.Elizaide@mail.house.gov.

Paola Mendoza sworn in as student trustee at Mt SAC in Walnut

Mt. San Antonio College student Paola Mendoza was sworn in as the new student trustee for the 2014-15 academic year during the Mt. SAC Board of Trustees’ July 23 meeting. 

As student trustee, Mendoza, 19, will present the student perspective on policy issues before Mt. SAC’s governing board.

She will have only an advisory vote, which does not count toward the passage or failure of a motion. The advisory vote helps the board know how the student trustee stands on issues and strengthens the student role in the college’s shared governance process.

Mendoza, a resident of Ontario, is a psychology major and carries a 3.6 GPA. She has served as a senator with the Mt. SAC Associated Students (student government) and holds memberships in the campus Psychology Club and IDEAS Club, which serves as an advocate for undocumented students.

After she graduates from Mt. SAC, she plans to transfer to UCLA as a psychology major.