Ling Ling Chang to vice chair rules committee

Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) has been appointed to Vice-Chair of the influential Assembly Rules Committee.  The appointment was part of a number of key committee appointments made by the Speaker of the Assembly.

“I am so honored to have the privilege to serve in a leading capacity on such an important committee,” said Chang.  What an amazing opportunity to work for Californians and my constituents.”

As Vice-Chair of the Assembly Rules Committee, Assemblywoman Chang will play a leading role in the governing body of the Assembly, including jurisdiction over legislation and personnel.  Assembly Rules influences the fate of every bill introduced in the Legislature given its important role of referring legislation to respective policy committees of the house.

“Ling Ling is a strong leader for streamlining government so it can better serve Californians,” said Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen. She will be a powerful voice for commonsense leadership in her new role as Vice-Chair of the Assembly’s most powerful committee.”

Chang, the first Taiwanese-American Republican woman to be elected to the State Assembly, was first elected to the Diamond Bar City Council in November 2009 and served as the Mayor from 2011-2012. Before her election to the City Council, she held a variety of positions in local government, including service as President of the Walnut Valley Water District, and as a member of the Diamond Bar Parks & Recreation Commission. Chang brings business sector experience as well, developing software products for the health information management industry.

“I am so excited to get California back on track,” said Chang.  We can have the best schools and more jobs if we all work together. Serving on the Assembly Rules Committee is a great opportunity to get that done.”

In addition to Rules, Assemblywoman Chang has been appointed as a member of the following committees: Appropriations, Business & Professions, and Privacy & Consumer Protection.

Truck crash closes eastbound 60 in Diamond Bar

A truck driver suffered minor injuries when his big rig hit an overhead sign on the eastbound 60 Freeway and overturned, spilling crushed concrete.

The solo crash shut down all lanes of the eastbound 60, west of Grand Avenue at one point.

The California Highway Patrol got a call of an overturned big rig at 5:18 a.m.

CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said the truck was in the No. 6 lane, heading east on the 60 freeway.

“For an undetermined reason, the truck’s hydraulic lift began to rise,” Jimenez said.

 

 

The truck driver told the CHP the car behind him started flashing its lights to get his attention. The hydraulic lift struck an overhead sign.

The truck overturned on its left side, spilling the crushed concrete it was hauling. Jimenez said in addition, a gallon of diesel fuel leaked into a nearby creek.

Jimenez said the driver, a 50-year-old Baldwin Park man, complained of pain to his left leg. He wasn’t taken to a hospital/

All eastbound lanes were closed at 5:39 a.m.

By 9:39 a.m., five lanes were open. Only the two right lanes remain closed.

Diamond Bar Council bans carpool parking in parks

The Diamond Bar City Council wants to restrict parking in city parks. In November, the Parks and Recreation Commission recommended restricting parking to park patrons only.

The issue surfaced when residents complained about carpoolers leaving their vehicles all day in the lower lot at Summit Ridge Park on Grand Avenue. In October, there was an altercation between a Diamond Bar resident and a man picking up other workers, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Community Relations Officer Aaron Scheller.

“This is a use issue, those 25 spots are dedicated to the park, not to park and ride,” said Mayor Steve Tye.

In an earlier report, Scheller said he had visited the lot several times and saw people parking their cars and getting into another vehicle without spending any time in the park. Scheller checked the license plates and discovered all the vehicles belonged to non-residents.

Deputies also saw contractors working in Country Estates across the road pick up workmen parked in the Summit Ridge lot.

“I don’t think the contractors should be using a city park to provide parking for their workers,” Tye said.

Summit Ridge Park is only two miles from the 57/60 freeways. On Nov. 26, deputies say 21 of the spots were filled, even though they found nobody in the park.

“The park is a popular place for residents to walk their dogs. The parking problem has been getting worse over the years,” explained Bob Rose, Diamond Bar’s Community Services Director. “But I was surprised when the sheriff’s department estimated that 85 percent of the cars belonged to nonresidents.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story PARKING.

Diamond Bar City Council applications due by Friday

Diamond Bar City Clerk’s Office is accepting applications to fill a vacancy on city council left by Ling-Ling Chang, who was elected to California Assembly.

To qualify, candidates must be a United States citizen, a Diamond Bar resident and a registered voter 18 years of age or older.

Council will interview selected candidates the week of Jan. 5, 2015, The appointment must be made by Jan. 30.

Applications are available on the city website at www.DiamondBarCa.gov/councilvacancy and in City Hall at 21810 Copley Drive.

For information or to request an application by mail, call 909-839-7010. The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m. Dec. 19.

$10,000 reward paid to four witnesses of St. Vianney fire

Following the successful conviction of Gregory Shiga, who was arrested in 2012 for intentionally setting fire to St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights, a $10,000 reward was distributed to four witnesses who came forward with information that led to the suspected arsonist’s arrest.

“I’m thankful these individuals came forward with their critical eyewitness accounts of the fire at St. John Vianney,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. “Justice has been served and the residents who chose not to stand by and let their community suffer at the hands of an arsonist are being rewarded for their information. If you witness a crime in your community, please report it immediately to law enforcement.”

Shiga was found guilty of four counts of aggravated arson and one count of burglary. He is currently serving 18 years to life in state prison, and has been ordered to pay $8,926,837.78 in restitution to the church.

Hacienda Heights Community Center has family Christmas

The new Hacienda Heights Community Center will hold a family Christmas party on Dec. 10. The holiday event is sponsored by the L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation as well as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and Lowes.

Beginning at 11 a.m., children will enjoy food, music, games and soccer. There will also be magic tricks by Pun and Alex Thal.

A special screeing of “How to Train Your Dragon 2” will be shown at 1 p.m. , courtesy of DreamWorks Animation.

The Make A Wish Foundation will bring 100 children to the fun. Registration begins at 10 a.m. At 3 p.m., Santa will stop by to distribute toys to the boys and girls.

The center is located at 1234 Valencia Ave. in Hacienda Heights. For more information, call 626-333-3250.

County cleaning out storm debris

  • Photo by Watchara Phomicinda

    Photo by Watchara Phomicinda

  • The Los Angeles County Public Works Department began Tuesday to remove 45,000 cubic yards of mud, rocks and debris from county flood control facilities. The cleanup is part of the plan to help foothill communities prepare for future storms.

    A caravan of dump trucks cruised up Sierra Madre Boulevard to Easley Canyon Drive in the hills above Glendora. The foothill city has seen mud slides from previous storms.

    The big trucks took turns inching up the narrow access road to the Hook Debris Basin at the foot of a steep canyon. County workers used radios to keep the convoy moving.

    • Photos: Work crews remove mud and debris from Englewild debris basin in Glendora

    They crawled down into the 40-foot-deep basin, where a backhoe dug down into the sediment. A bright, yellow bulldozer piled the dirt up so a frontloader could fill the waiting rigs.

    “We clean out the catch basins every year, but we thought we would start while we have some good weather,” explained Bob Spencer, Chief of Public Affairs for L.A. County Public Works.

    Spencer said the county plans to remove 8,000 cubic yards of mud and debris from this large catch basin. It will then move on to the Englewild and Harrow Debris Basins further east in the mountains.

    • Video: Crews clear Glendora basin

    Tall concrete pilings served as a giant rake to prevent giant boulders and trees from flowing downhill to the expensive homes just below.

    A 30-foot-tall tower with side slits siphons off the water, draining it into the flood control channels. A large concrete spillway served as a backup should the basin overflow.

  • Read more in Rich Irwin’s story DEBRIS

Mt. Calvary Lutheran School collects 7,000 boxes for kids in Diamond Bar

Operation Christmas child boxes
In November, Mt. Calvary Lutheran School in Diamond Bar collected more than  7,000 boxes for Operation Christmas Child and packed more than 1,000 boxes.
These are boxes filled with small toys and useful items that will be shipped to many different developing countries to children who may not get any presents for Christmas.

Working on packing boxes

California health reform is accelerating change

By Deborah Schoch and Lauren M. Whaley, CHCF Center for Health Reporting

Dr. Hector Flores marvels at the impact of health reform on his Montebello family practice. The number of uninsured patients, he said, has been cut almost in half.

For Flores, who describes himself as “a Latino who grew up uninsured and knowing what it’s like to live one illness away from the poorhouse,” the federal law nicknamed “Obamacare” is a huge success.

Not all Californians agree, especially those who found their premiums going up or their favorite doctors not covered under new policies. But as the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) enters its second year, few dispute that it is swiftly changing how health care works statewide.

The story of health reform in the Golden State is one of accelerating change, with both ominous and hopeful aspects.

California leads the nation in embracing the ACA. It enrolled more people than any other state this year, approximately 3.6 million, driving down the state’s uninsured rate from 17 percent to 11 percent.

Covered California — the state’s new marketplace, where health insurers compete for customers and the federal government offers subsidies on premiums — expects to enroll another 500,000 people by the time the current signup period ends Feb. 15.

Read more in HEALTH.

Ling Ling Chang named Assembly Republican Whip

Assembly Member Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) has been appointed by Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen to the position of Assembly Republican Whip for the 2015-16 Legislative Session.

“I’m very excited that Republican Leader Olsen has asked me to take on this new role,” said Chang. “I came to Sacramento ready to take on many challenges for California and my community.  Having the opportunity to serve as a Republican Whip will enable me to better serve my constituents as I work with my colleagues to advance Republican solutions to provide better schools for every student, encourage more job opportunities in every community, and reform state government.”

As Republican Whip, Chang will be charged with mobilizing member votes on important legislation, acting as a liaison between members and leadership, and helping to coordinate strategy within the Caucus.

Chang, the first Taiwanese-American Republican woman to be elected to the State Assembly, was first elected to the Diamond Bar City Council in November 2009 and served as the Mayor from 2011-2012. Before her election to the CityCouncil, she held a variety of positions in local government, including service as President of the Walnut Valley Water District, and as a member of the Diamond Bar Parks & Recreation Commission. Chang brings business sector experience as well, developing software products for the health information management industry.

“Ling-Ling Chang is politically savvy, intelligent, and hard-working,” said Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, of Modesto.  “She has a proven track record of success in local government and community activities.   She will be an effective advocate in advancing our message.”