Walnut Famil Festival holds blood drive

Beside the usual fun and games, this year’s Family Festival in Suzanne Park will give Walnut residents have a chance to save lives. The American Red Cross Blood Mobile will be on hand on Saturday to take donations to help those in need.

“We hope we can get at least 42 donors to donate a pint of blood,” said Walnut Recreation Director Gabriela Encinas. “If we collect 42 pints of blood, we can save up to 126 lives because they figure each pint can save three lives.”

Law Librarian of Congress coming to Diamond Bar

David Mao, the 23rd Law Librarian of Congress, will talk about “Serving Digital Natives in Libraries Today” on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m. in the AQMD Government Building, 21865 Copley Drive,Diamond Bar.

Mao, who manages the world’s largest collection of legal materials, will highlight ways that libraries can grow, adapt, and innovate in order to appeal to a new generation of students that have grown up immersed in modern technology.

Rep. Ed Royce will also talk about the state of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education across our nation’s schools and universities.

“The digital revolution has touched virtually every part of our lives. Students today have never known life without smart phones and the cloud and access to worlds of information at the touch of a keystroke. While some may suggest this means libraries are less relevant today, I believe this revolution makes libraries and librarianship even more important,” said Mao.

Mao manages the operation and policy administration of the Law Library of Congress, which contain the world’s largest collection of legal materials and serves as the leading research center for foreign, comparative, and international law.

Mao describes the position as part law librarian to Congress, part steward for the law collections, and part ambassador to the word’s legal and library communities.

“I look forward to speaking at Diamond Bar – and am honored to do so on the occasion of its 25th anniversary – about the role of libraries in the 21st century,”  he added.

“I’m looking forward to hearing Mr. Mao’s presentation on how our libraries can evolve to engage our kids that have grown up with cell phones, iPads, and wireless internet,” said Rep. Royce.

“Public libraries that move forward with the technology of the day will continue to attract students who are eager to learn, and Mr. Mao shares my passion for ensuring that the next generation of Americans has the resources it needs to excel academically,” Royce said. 

Seating is limited and reservations are a must for this very special afternoon.  Please call (626) 960-2861 to reserve your seat.  A reception will follow after Mao’s talk.

The winners of the Student Essay Writing Contest “How a Book Changed My Life” will be announced that afternoon.  Students from ages 13 to 18 are encouraged to write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre—fiction or non-fiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author’s work changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves.  For more information on the essay contest, please call (626) 960-2861.

For more information visit www.dblibraryfriends.org or call909 629-2711.

 

Buckboard Days Parade seeks entries in Rowland Heights

Don’t miss the opportunity to appear in this year’s 42nd Annual Buckboard Days Parade and Festival on Saturday, Oct. 18, in Rowland Heights.

The parade is co-organized by the Rowland Heights Chinese Association and the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council.

The final deadline to appear in the Buckboard Parade is this Friday, Oct. 10. Applications at  www.buckboarddaysparade.org, email to buckboardparade@hotmail.com.

There is no parade entry fee for community organizations and individuals. There is a $50 fee for commercial or business applications.             

The parade will feature a variety of local school bands and student performance groups, community organizations, equestrian groups, floats and the Wells Fargo Stage Coach. 

The theme for this year’s parade is “Nature in Our Own Backyard” and local environmental scientist and educator/Rowland Unified School District Parent Kimo Morris, Ph.D., is this year’s Parade Grand Marshal.

The parade begins at 9 a.m. at the corner of Nogales and Colima and will conclude at Rowland Heights County Park.

Following the parade will be a Family Festival at Rowland Heights County Park from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with more than 45 booths offering handmade arts and crafts, food, community information and services organized by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Hacienda Heights Kiwanis will be sponsoring a pancake breakfast before the parade, starting at 7 a.m. Come early and enjoy breakfast at the Bell Memorial Church parking lot on Nogales near the corner of Colima (1747 Nogales St, Rowland Heights). Breakfast is $5 per person.

Parade Co-Chairs are Rachel Fung, Rowland Heights Chinese Association and John Grant, Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council.

It’s Not Too Late to Sign Up! www.buckboarddaysparade.org

Diamond Bar woman pepper sprays mugger

A man robbed a woman of her wallet Thursday, but the woman fought back with pepper spray, officials said. The robbery took place about 2 p.m. on Diamond Bar Boulevard, just south of Grand Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Frank Rivera said.

The robber pushed the woman and grabbed her wallet when it fell to the ground, the lieutenant said. The woman sprayed pepper spray toward the robber, though it was unclear if it hit him in the face.

Deputies searched the area for the robber, but he was not found, Rivera said. A detailed suspect description was not available.

The woman, who was in her 20s, was examined by paramedics but did not appear to have suffered significant injury, Rivera said.

Christ the King Lutheran Church celebrates 50 years in Walnut

Pic 33 Church exterior 1968

By Christ the King Lutheran Church

On Sunday, Christ the King Lutheran Church in Walnut celebrated its 50th anniversary with Rev. Dr. Larry Stotoerau, President of the Pacific Southwest, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Stoterau preached and Deacon George Pollard, the present Pastor, will served as liturgist. Rev. Martin Lundi, founding pastor, preached at 4 p.m. with Rev. Maynard Saeger, former Interim Pastor as liturgist, and Pollard as the lector.

Special music was performed on the recently rebuilt pipe organ, the only pipe organ in Walnut and harpist, Gretchen Sheetz, a recent graduate of Concordia University, Irvine.

When the Southern California District (now the Pacific Southwest District) of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod’s Mission Board decided to establish a church in Walnut in 1962, they purchased almost five acres in the rolling La Puente Hills that included a new three-bedroom house for $63,570.

In 1964, the district called Rev. Martin Lundi as missionary-at-large to establish a congregation. For the first year, the congregation worshiped at Mt. San Antonio College. In 1966, they moved to Suzanne Middle School, a block west of the church property.

In 1967, the congregation hired an architect, Dennis Wehmueller, to design a building for the hilly property and soon discovered that the property could not be built on, according to the architect, as it would need 37,000 cubic yards of fill dirt that would cost over $100,000.

When Walnut High School was being built across the street, the general contractor asked Pastor Lundi if he could dump 37,000 cubic yards of fill dirt on the church property. Lundi said he would have to compact it, level it according to the architect’s design, and get permits from the city. The contractor agreed.

Later, the architect said he had miscalculated, needing another 4,000 cubic yards of soil. The contractor asked if the church could use another 4,000 cubic yards of soil. He also agreed to pour the curbs and pave half of the streets and the church parking lot at cost.

Today the church is next to the new civic center on La Puente Road in the heart of the city of Walnut where the 45-foot high cross on the church points people to Christ.

The service of celebration was followed by a brunch and a reception in the fellowship hall. After the 4 p.m. service, members recalled the church’s history through a pictorial display, and meet with Rev. Lundi and his wife, Rev. Saeger, and Deacon Pollard. 

Walnut plans big family festival Oct. 11 in Suzanne Park

The 38th Annual Walnut Family Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct.  11 from 8 am to 6 pm at Suzanne Park. This year’s Festival theme is “Rooted in Fun.”

There will be over 100 booths to visit featuring community groups, arts and crafts vendors, and local businesses demonstrating and selling their products. Be sure to visit the Arts & Crafts area for beautiful gifts, home and yard decorating items, clothing, jewelry, holiday items and much more!

The Annual Family Festival Parade steps off at 10:00 am and will march east along La Puente Road from Lemon Avenue to Suzanne Road. Parade highlights include the Wells Fargo Stage Coach, Walnut High School Marching Band, Walnut Sharks Swim Team, Walnut Valley Riders, LA Extreme Cheer, AYSO, community floats, and much more!

Featured on the Valley Vista Stage

11:30 am Opening Ceremonies

12 pm to 2 pm Cold Duck – Top 40

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm Silveradoes – Country

4 pm to 6 pm The Elton John Experience – Best of Elton John

There will be plenty for children to do as this year’s Festival will feature an assortment of carnival games, a mini-Ferris Wheel, Giant Slide, Wow Balls, a giant bounce house, a maze and other inflatables.

The food court will feature many non-profit groups working hard to cook up some delicious food items while trying to earn money for their worthy causes. Stop in for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Walnut / Diamond Bar Lions Club will be flipping flapjacks from 8 am to 10 am so you can get a great breakfast and support your local Lions Club. There will be a variety of lunch and dinner items from burritos to burgers to teriyaki chicken plus snacks galore.

There’s plenty to see and do at this year’s Festival. Come out and join the fun, meet some new friends and catch up with the old ones.

Diamond Bar home a model of sustainable living

By Sandra Barrera, Staff Writer

What started as a vegetable patch and some fruit trees in Rishi Kumar’s backyard is today a model of sustainable living that he calls The Growing Home.

In fact, it is how the 25-year-old Diamond Bar resident makes his living. His home-based business teaches people how to “re-think, re-imagine and re-generate the suburban landscape” by example. Almost every square inch of his family’s hillside property in this tract community is used for growing food, which could potentially result in excessive water use.

But Kumar has improved the quality and moisture retention properties of the otherwise hard, compact clay soil.

“If you grow on this, you’re going to have a water problem,” he says. “It’s basically like cement. Water can’t infiltrate it, roots can’t go very deep, which means they’re going to dry out and the plants are going to die. This is the main problem on a hillside.”

Replenishing the soil with wood chip mulch and horse manure (acquired for free from local tree trimming companies and stables), terracing the slope (to slow water and sink it) and digging flat-bottom ditches — called swales — filled with boulders or tree branches (to capture runoff from the roof and sloping driveway) have transformed the area from lawn and patio to a lush and thriving urban farmland.

Walnut honors city heroes at LAFair

By Richard Irwin, Staff Write

The Los Angeles County Fair honored more community heroes on Friday. Every year, the fair celebrates the volunteers, students and seniors who make their communities a better place to live.

This year, Walnut chose Lou and Joanie Simonelli for their volunteer work. The couple have spent many hours working for the band boosters at Walnut High School.

Walnut’s Community Services Superintendent Alicia Jensen noted Simonelli’s dedication has lasted well past the years in which their own children went to high school.

“The Community Services Department received a letter signed by 134 kids from Walnut High School praising and thanking the Simonelli’s for their efforts,” Jensen said in her nomination.

Dubbed the Bandfather, Lou has driven thousands of miles with a pile of instruments behind him. The couple also build and maintain the play sets and pit carts. Along the way, these community heroes have touched the lives of many students, parents and teachers.

Hacienda Heights woman’s a big winner at Los Angeles County Fair

Francine Rippy of Hacienda Heights figures she has won more than 1,000 ribbons at the Los Angeles County Fair. And this year is no different for the 75-year-old, who won 24 blue ribbons.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, more than 60 years,” Rippy said.

Of course, she has had decades of experience canning and preserving food. She learned as a teenager, growing up on a farm in Santa Fe Springs, now the Hathaway Museum.

“We had fruit orchards, so I learned how to can preserves, jams and jellies,” Rippy said. “We also raised horses, chickens and the calves from our milk cows.”

This early experience has served the Hacienda Heights woman well over the years. Her jellies, jams and preserves consistently win blue ribbons at the Los Angeles County Fair. She says she has won sweepstakes award 13 times.

“She is dedicated to the craft of preserved foods and we are honored that she continues to share that talent and passion with everyone here at the Los Angeles County Fair,” said Shanell Fuquay, Community Relations Coordinator.

Fuquay said the fair’s records don’t go back very far, but Rippy has won the sweepstakes for easily the past 5 years or more. That would have to be a record, Fuquay said.

Today, Rippy receives fresh fruit from friends and neighbors. She keeps her canning utensils ready because you never know when berries will ripen. The avid canner just finished making some blackberry jam.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story RIPPY

Puente Hills Habitat celebrates 20th anniversary in Hacienda Heights

Puente Hills Habitat will celebrate its 20th anniversary at the Hacienda Heights trail head on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be fun crafts, face painting, displays and prizes. Winners of the photo and essay contests will be announced.

“We want to thank Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights and Whittier for their support over the past two decades,” said Executive Director Andrea Gullo.

The agency manages 3,800 acres in the Puente Hills Preserve. The park runs from the intersection of the 605 and 60 Freeways east to Harbor Boulevard.

Over the past two decades, the authority has purchased 1,888 acres of land for $30 million and manages land owned by Whittier and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County. The money came from fees charged by the now closed Puente Hills Landfill.

The 20th anniversary begins at 9 a.m. with an easy 1/2 mile family hike led by a naturalist. Others can take a two-mile hike to learn about native herbs.

Habitat ecologist Lizette Longacre says hikers will explore the coastal sage scrub threatened with extinction in Southern California. The rare plant can be found in Hellman Park and the Arroyo San Miguel, as well as Sycamore and Powder Canyons.

“The preserve also has one of the largest stands of Walnut trees,” Gullo noted. “The California Black Walnut is the most common and can be found in Powder Canyon.”

Tall coast live oaks also grow on the park’s slopes and grasslands. The walnut and oak trees are important sources of food for the local wildlife.

“Several sightings of mountain lions have been confirmed,” said Gullo. “One of our rangers saw one in Sycamore Canyon.”

The big cats are drawn by many deer living in the preserve.

“We have a healthy ecology here, with lots of rabbits and deer,” Longacre agreed.

Bobcats, raccoons, skunks and coyotes roam the sprawling habitat..

“We put in Los Angeles’ first wildlife underpass,” Gullo boasted. “And it has really cut back on the road kill.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story HABITAT.