Assembly Republican leader apologizes for her involvement in Walnut City Council race

By Staff Writer Steve Scauzillo

The leader of the Republican Party in the state Assembly said her $5,000 contribution to a political action committee opposed to City Council candidate Mary Su was a mistake, according to Assemblyman Curt Hagman.

Assemblywoman Connie Conway, R-Visalia, who is running for state Senate, apologized to Su on Saturday after this news organization revealed Conway was one of only two contributors to the Long Beach-based Taxpayers For Quality Education, Su said.

Conway told Su and fellow Republicans in Sacramento that she thought the money would be used to fight SCA 5, a constitutional amendment that would reinstate affirmative action in public universities, according to Su and Hagman, R-Chino Hills.

“I know Connie. I talked to her and asked her straight up. She thought it was for another purpose,” Hagman said Monday during an exclusive interview. “She thought it was to oppose SCA 5.”

SCA 5 is a measure authored by West Covina Democrat state Sen. Ed Hernandez that would return affirmative action to school admission decisions. While the bill initially sailed through the state Senate, it faced opposition from more conservative Asian-American groups who feared its return would displace Chinese-American students.

Conway did not return several calls and messages Monday left on her cellphone.

Read more in SORRY

Los Altos Elementary plants Seeds of Change in Hacienda Heights

You’ve heard of home makeovers. Los Altos Elementary needs a garden makeover.

To raise the money it needs, the Hacienda Heights school asks everyone to vote for them to get a Seeds of Change grant at www.seedsofchangegrant.com.

The organic seed company based in Rancho Dominguez donates 1 percent of its net sales toward sustainable organic farming initiatives worldwide.

This year, it is awarding $190,000 to community and school gardens. Two groups will get $20,000 grants, while 15 others will get $10,000 each.

“One of our teachers is a gardener, and she heard about the program that promotes sustainable gardening,” explained Principal Rosalie Sinapi.

Los Altos built its school garden almost seven years ago. Over the years, it has had its ups and downs as garden volunteers come and go.

But a couple of years ago, the garden literally went to seed. Soon, it was choked with untended plants growing wild.

“It looked like a jungle, so my son and I got out our weed whacker to cut down the waist-high brush,” Sinapi said.

And volunteers from Sam’s Club helped rip out the tangled roots. But the damage was done. Staff and students are finding it a tough row to hoe as they try to restore their garden.

“We paid $2,000 last year to put in a new water line, but it’s taking a lot of time and money to fix our garden,” the administrator said.

That’s why the Hacienda Heights school hopes it can win one of the Seeds of Change grants. In its grant application, instructors noted they would like to use a new garden to teach kids and families about healthy eating.

Read more in GARDEN.

Walnut Valley Women’s Club installs garden of pinwheels to fight child abuse

In support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Walnut Valley Women’s Club planted a garden of pinwheels at Los Angeles County Fire Station 61 at the corner of Lemon Avenue and La Puente Road in Walnut on Saturday.

The garden was done by Project Manager Joe Hahn,  with help from Jerry Burgh and Ray Sevilla.

The pinwheels will remain throughout the month of April. “Pinwheels for Prevention,” is a program that promotes the message that “All children deserve an equal chance to thrive and grow.”

LA County Supervisor Don Knabe asks residents to plan emergency needs

A message from Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe

This past weekend, we had yet another reminder of the need to have a plan and be prepared in the event of an emergency.  The 5.1 earthquake near La Habra fortunately did not result in major damages.  Like many of you, we had items fall from shelves at my house, but luckily no one was hurt.

The County has a detailed plan in place and our emergency responders train frequently.  But the reality is that if something major happened, they could not be everywhere.  That is why it is so important that families are prepared and neighbors look after each other.

Of course we all KNOW we should be prepared and we talk about having a plan and emergency needs set up, but too often busy lives get in the way and it just doesn’t happen.

I encourage you to set aside some time to prepare.  The County has tons of resources to help you, from signing up for notifications, to brief checklists or what to do if you have special needs.  Please take the time to learn more here: http://www.espfocus.org/

Have a great week.

 Supervisor Don Knabe

 

San Gabriel Valley YMCA plans Good Friday prayer breakfast

The San Gabriel Valley YMCA will hold its 36th annual Good Friday prayer breakfast at 7 a.m. on April 18 in the South Hills Country Club at 2655 South Citrus Ave. in West Covina.

The Rev. Betsy Straeter of Glendora’s Glenkirk Church will be the featured speaker. Seats are $15 each.

“We see the Good Friday Breakfast as a way for a people in our community who might not otherwise meet to come together and share a meal and fellowship,” said YMCA CEO Craig Cerro. The breakfast traditionally includes clergy from different churches in the East San Gabriel Valley as speakers.

The Good Friday Breakfast is sponsored by Foothill Transit and the Tennant Foundation. All proceeds from the breakfast will go towards the San Gabriel Valley YMCA’s program scholarship fund help needy families afford Y programs.

For more information or to register for the breakfast, call the San Gabriel Valley YMCA at 626-339-6221 or e-mail mborer@sgvymca.org.

Diamond Bar High Robotics ready for FIRST Las Vegas Regionals

Team Sprocket 3473 in action during the FIRST Inland Empire Regional Competition. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Huo, team student )photographer.

Team Sprocket 3473 in action during the FIRST Inland Empire Regional Competition. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Huo, team student )photographer.

By Walnut Valley Unified

Diamond Bar High School Robotics Team is gearing up for the Las Vegas FIRST Regional Competition scheduled April 2-5.  Team Sprocket vied in the 2014 Season FRC Robotics “Aerial Assist” Inland Empire Regionals held at Grand Terrace High School on February 28-March 2.

The robot was programmed to score points in either high or low goals at the opposing sides of the arena. The team ranked  #2 early in the competition with a score of 140 points – the highest in the entire competition! Team Sprocket finished in 16th place after incurring then fixing some mechanical issues. The team fund-raised, built and programmed their robot to perform FRC described tasks against a field of competitors under the strict FRC competition rules. Volunteer professional mentors lend their expertise to guide the team.

“Not only are the students building a championship-winning robot, they are learning about science, technology, computer programming, managing finances and budgets, and learning to motivate others. These lessons are the real things that students get from FRC competitions and these are the things they will be able to retain and use for the rest of their lives,” said mentor Boeing engineer Clark Rucker.

Team Sprocket is now ready to for their final competition of the season and looking forward to bringing home a trophy to the Walnut Valley Unified School District!

“Since the last competition, our team has made some mechanical and programming adjustments and have been practicing every day for at least three hours to get ready for the Las Vegas tournament,” said Spirit Captain Alice Chen.

 

Caltrans plans pavement work on 60 freeway next 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, March 31, through Friday, April 4

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 CLOSED between 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, April 4, through Sunday, April 6

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-rampsCLOSED
  • ·         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.

Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy holds citizens forum in Walnut on Saturday

Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy will hold a World Citizens Forum for “An Era of Conscience” on March 29 at 10 a.m. in Suite G at 385 S. Lemon Ave. 

Speakers will include Dr. Chung-Ming Liu, Dr. James Tsai, president of the Chinese American Association of Walnut and  Nelson Huang, chair and president of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association.

Dr. Liu, a member of Tai Ji Men, a retired professor of atmospheric sciences at National Taiwan University, is a well-known meteorologist  Dr. Liu will talk about the impact of climate and climate change on humans.

Additional topics at this Forum will be “Community Service, an exercise of Conscience,” by Dr. James Tsai, a dentist in Pasadena. He will share how he contributes his time to community service and inspires the youngsters to exercise of conscience and care more about the community we live.

Nelson Huang will encourage people to get involved in public affairs by exercising the right of voting, and how government policies relate to our daily life in his speech entitled as “Leadership and social responsibility”.

Hacienda Heights Army Captain recalls overseas deployment

By Staff Writer Sandra Molina

Army Capt. Diana Arnold of Hacienda Heights never thought she was going to be deployed overseas. She was 46 at the time of her enlistment and was told repeatedly that “reservists don’t get deployed,”

Not so.

Arnold, of Hacienda Heights, was not on the roster for her company’s first deployment in 2011, six years after enlisting. The second time around, she explained to a packed room Thursday at the Whittier Central Library’s kickoff of the annual Whittier Reads program, Arnold was told, “Ma’am, you’re on the roster.”

Her story — deployment to the Middle East as a dietician for 30,000 American civilians and military personnel — fit in with the armed services theme of this year’s reading.

The monthlong programming is based around the book “Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Dog Who Saved Him,” by Luis Carlos Montalvan.

Although no canines showed up in her story, Arnold, now 54, called her experience “the most rewarding chapter in my life.” After a “whole lot of training,” she “took off a dress and put on the combat boots.”

Arnold talked of her deployment from July 2012 to May 2013 along with a slide presentation of photos of her time in Kuwait, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Germany and France as a soldier with the 349th Combat Support Hospital.

She was stationed at Camp Arifjan, known as AJ, as one of a 160-member staff, which was designated a combat zone, and where the hot water was cooler than the cold water.

Although Arnold didn’t have much space in her 6-foot-by-8-foot living quarters, she made room for a voodoo doll given to her by her daughter.

“A voodoo doll could be for bad or good,” she explained.

“My daughter went to the famous Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo in New Orleans and got a doll specially for the protection from combat.”

Another prized possession she carried was a star cut from an American flag, which was given to her by a student.

The audience followed her tales of 130-plus degree weather, having to always travel with a “battle buddy”, strict dress codes on and off base, as well as the fun activities including dancing, yoga, karaoke, bowling and others.

Arnold’s duties included patient education, teaching up to 10 nutritional classes a month, fitness and nutrition training for those with post traumatic stress disorder and being one of only five people who decide what personnel eat.

“My soldiers got what they wanted,” she confidently said.

Failed robbery at Hacienda Heights Rite Aid

By Staff Writer Brian Day

A gunman wearing a business suit fled empty-handed late Thursday following a failed robbery at a Rite Aid Pharmacy in Hacienda Heights, authorities said.

The would-be robber entered the pharmacy, 2060 S. Hacienda Boulevard, and began walking around the business, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Raymond Enriquez said.

He then made his way to the pharmacy counter, where he pulled out a small, silver semi-automatic handgun and pointed it at a female employee.

He told the woman to stand in front of him, but she instead fled from him, grabbed a telephone and notified fellow employees to lock the front doors, the lieutenant said.

 

 

The gunman unsuccessfully tried to hop the pharmacy counter before making his way back to the store’s main entrance, Enriquez said.

The armed man escaped after ordering an employee to open the locked front door, Enriquez added.

Officials described the failed robber as a Latino man in his 40s or 50s, with salt and pepper hair, wearing a gray suit with a tie and round-framed glasses.

He was last seen getting into a white, 2000s-model Toyota sedan with a waiting driver. The car headed north on Hacienda Boulevard.