Caltrans announces closures on Route 60 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, April 14, through Friday, April 18

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, April 18, through Sunday, April 20

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 CLOSURE between 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.

Caltrans advises motorists to “Slow For The Cone Zone.”

 

Diamond Bar, Walnut, Rowland, Wilson Highs rank well

Local high schools did well in the Washington Post’s new list of the nation’s most academically challenging schools. The Post used what it calls a Challenge Index to rank high schools across the country.

Only 9 percent of the nation’s 22,000 public high schools managed to make the list.

“On our list, the top 220 schools are in the top 1 percent nationally, the top 440 in the top 2 percent, and so on,” explained Staff Writer Jay Mathews on the Post’s web site. Diamond Bar High School ranked the best locally, coming in 317 out of the 2,000 schools listed. Sixty percent of its students passed at least one college-level test during their high school career.
Read more in my story in the Tribune. http://m.sgvtribune.com/sgvtribune/article/OOiaoM1r

Incumbents Pacheco, Su win hard-fought Walnut City Council race

Incumbents Robert Pacheco and Mary Su swept to victory Tuesday night in one of the most contested and expensive races in city history.

Pacheco, 79, the elder statesman who served on the City Council and then in the state Assembly only to return to the city last year, and Su, 55, the eight-year incumbent and a leader in the Asian community, won by a wide margin.

In a victory speech at Pacheco/Su headquarters Tuesday night, the former assemblyman denounced the big spenders and an attempt to influence the Walnut election from Sacramento.

“We want to make this city grow and make it free of bad influences,” he began. “They tried to take us down and they failed big time! Walnut is ours! It is the people’s city.”

A relieved Su said: “I’m really thankful for the Walnut residents who still believe in me.”

The pair easily defeated challenger Betty Tang, 46, the president of the Chinese American Parents Association.

With all votes counted and two seats up for grabs, Pacheco was the lead vote-getter with 2,114 votes, Su had 2,095 votes and Tang trailed with 1,659. Write-in candidate Dino Jimmy Pollalis had 139 votes.

The Walnut City Council race could be one of the most expensive in San Gabriel Valley history, with three of the four candidates spending $275,000, campaign records show.

A boatload of campaign dollars from across Southern California fueled a flurry of negative campaigning in the form of attack mailers and nasty emails.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story ELECTION.

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.