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.

Rep. Ed Royce of Rowland Heights convenes hearing on ISIS threat in Iraq

Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will convene a hearing to examine the terrorist advance in Iraq, led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the U.S. response:.  The hearing, entitled “Terrorist March in Iraq: The U.S. Response” will begin at 10 a.m.

Live webcast of the hearing, as well as witness testimony, will be available HERE.

Below is Chairman Royce’s opening statement as prepared for delivery at the hearing:

This hearing will come to order.  This morning we consider the U.S. response to the terrorist take-over in Iraq.

Nearly six months ago, this Committee held a hearing “Al-Qaeda’s Resurgence in Iraq: A Threat to U.S. Interests.”  Then, the Administration testified that ISIS had begun to shift resources from Syria to Iraq in early 2013, that it had tripled its suicide attacks that year, and that it planned to challenge the Iraqi government for control of western Iraq and Baghdad.  The Administration testified that it had become aware that ISIS had established armed camps, staging areas and training grounds in Iraq’s western desert in the summer of 2013 and that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had again threatened to attack the United States.

The Administration told us that ISIS must be “constantly pressured, and their safe havens destroyed” and that its objective was “to ensure that ISIS can never again gain safe haven in western Iraq.”  However, what the Administration did not say was that the Iraqi government had been urgently requesting drone strikes against ISIS camps since August 2013.  These repeated requests, unfortunately, were turned down.  I added my voice for drone strikes as ISIS convoys raced across the desert.

Since that last hearing, ISIS has done precisely what the Administration predicted it would: it has taken over most of western Iraq, it has turned its sights on Baghdad, and it may be preparing to launch attacks against the U.S.  Never has a terrorist organization itself controlled such a large, resource-rich safe haven as ISIS does today.  Never has a terrorist organization possessed the heavy weaponry, cash and personnel that ISIS does today – which includes thousands of western passport holders.

The Iraqi population is terrorized; they have suffered mass executions and harsh sharia law.  Last week, the remaining members of the ancient Christian community in Mosul fled on foot in face of ISIS demands that they convert or face death.

To be clear, ISIS’s take-over has been aided by Prime Minister Maliki’s malfeasance and incompetence.  Maliki has disastrously failed to reconcile with key Sunni groups.  Many – including myself and Ranking Member Engel –urged him to form a more inclusive government so that ISIS could not exploit legitimate Sunni grievances.  Maliki has only proven himself to be a committed sectarian; certainly no statesman.  It is time for Iraqis to move forward in forming a government that serves the interests of all Iraqis.

What started as a crisis in Syria has become a regional disaster with serious global implications – including credible threats of international terrorism, humanitarian disaster, and upward pressure on energy prices in a fragile global economy.  Meanwhile, terrorist forces and the Iranian government are gaining power at the expense of regional security and friendly governments.

Of course, only Iraqis can control their future.  And the performance on the battle field of certain Iraqi units was abysmal.  Americans have spent enough blood and treasure in Iraq.  And that is exactly why the Administration should have taken the opportunity to inflict decisive damage on ISIS from the air through drone strikes while its fighters were encamped in the desert months ago.

This morning we are joined by a senior State Department official who has been in Baghdad for several weeks and an official from the Department of Defense involved in the current assessment of Iraqi security forces to learn of the path forward in dealing with this national security emergency.

I’ll now turn to the Ranking Member, Mr. Engel, for any opening comments.

West Nile Virus found in Creekside Park in Walnut

Two samples of mosquitoes found in traps at Creekside Park tested positive for West Nile virus, the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District reported Friday.

This is the second time mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus have been discovered in the San Gabriel Valley in the past few weeks. The discovery in Walnut follows one in San Marino’s Lacy Park earlier this month, according to mosquito abatement officials.

In Walnut, two of the four samples taken on July 11 tested positive for the virus, said Jason Farned, SGVMVCD spokesman. The San Marino discovery was found during the first week of July, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.

“We expect it every year so it is not a surprise that they are here in the San Gabriel Valley,” Farned said. “It is not a matter of if, but when, every summer.”

Creekside Park is the site of Walnut’s summer concert and movie series, a Tuesday night weekly event which usually attracts 1,000 people, said City Councilwoman Mary Su.

She said the city will hold a press briefing at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Creekside Park, 780 Creekside Drive, to inform residents and advise them on how to take precautions.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story VIRUS.

Four Diamond Bar students earn rank of Eagle Scout

Four members of Diamond Bar High School’s Class of 2014 earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America organization. Congratulations! The new Eagle Scouts are Matthew KimNathaniel RodriguezDarren Wijaya and Samuel Hwang.  All of them are members of Troop 730 that meet at Calvary Chapel in Diamond Bar.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men. The title of Eagle Scout is held for life, thus giving rise to the phrase “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle”.
Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the Scout. Additional recognition can be earned through Eagle Palms, awarded for completing additional tenure, leadership, and merit badge requirements.