Photos from arts festival at Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights

The Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Hacienda Heights.  One of the largest Buddhist monasteries in the Western hemisphere, the local temple is holding a yearlong celebration with special events and activities.

Over the weekend, the Hsi Lai Temple held its first music and art festival. Organizers lined up more than a dozen bands and artists for the family event.

The event was held in the temple courtyard at 3456 Glenmark Drive. The traditional Chinese mountain monastery is built adjacents to Hacienda Boulevard in the Puente Hills.

It is the American headquarters for one of Taiwan’s largest Buddhist organizations, Fo Guang Shan.

Check out the photos from the fun event.

Verizon Fi0S helps Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity in Walnut

 Volunteers from Verizon FiOS created a trench in Walnut home build.

Volunteers from Verizon FiOS created a trench in Walnut home build.

On Saturday, Verizon FiOS Southern California donated $2,500 to the Pomona Valley branch of Habitat for Humanity to help address the critical issue of essential, basic housing for U.S. Veterans and their families as part of the “Salute to Service” Veterans Build Program.

Local Verizon employees volunteered their time last year towards a home build in Walnut. This year, volunteers installed solar panels and retaining walls, created a trench for the underground pipe and cleared brush for future projects.

The FiOS SoCal Campaign supports local causes, sharing its success with the communities where its employees live and work. Verizon believes in making a positive impact on the communities it serves.

The Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity “Salute to Service” Veteran’s Build Program is dedicated to building new, sustainable homes for United States Veteran families in the Pomona Valley area.

To learn more about Verizon FiOS’ SoCal community involvement, visit

Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity breaks ground for veteran’s home

 Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity breaks ground in Walnut for new veteran home.

Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity breaks ground in Walnut for new veteran home.

On June 11, Pomona Valley Habitat broke ground for their next project in Walnut in partnership with PV Habitat and Peninsula Publishing, Southern California Edison and the City of Walnut.

“I can honestly say that these many months of planning have been quite a learning experience for our small Habitat affiliate” said Jody Gmeiner, President and CEO of Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity. “All three groups joined forces to break ground on this, our first home for a military or veteran family”.

This project, known as ABC 2.0 (meaning the house will be Affordable, Buildable and Certifiable with all green agencies) is a Net Zero house; it will produce the energy it needs, thereby helping the family keep their energy costs very low.

The Walnut house will not be a typical Habitat house, but PV Habitat did not want to pass on this extensive learning experience in green building, as well as the opportunity to serve another family.

Interested Veterans should call Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity at (909) 596-7098 to be placed on an orientation waiting list. Veteran families currently living in the Pomona Valley Habitat service area are eligible to apply.

Pomona Valley Habitat serves the local cities of, Chino, Chino Hills, Claremont, Covina, Diamond Bar, Glendora, La Puente, La Verne, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, Upland, Walnut and West Covina.

Please note, for the Walnut and La Verne houses, eligible Veterans living in those cities will be given first consideration. If we are not able to find eligible Veteran families currently living in the cities of Walnut and La Verne, those two houses will also be available for Veterans living in our entire 16 city service area.

For more information on how you can be involved or support this project, please call our office at 909-596-7098.

Hsi Lai Temple marks 25th anniversary with arts and music

As part of its 25th anniversary, the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple will celebrate with a free music and art festival this Saturday in Hacienda Heights.

“Buddhism is the way to understand the heart,” explains the Temple’s abbot, Venerable Hui Dong. “Music and art are also means that touch the heart. By putting them together, the festival is in fact a journey to the deepest of one’s heart.”

Organizers have lined up more than a dozen bands and artists for the family event. It will be held from 4 to 8:30 p.m. in the temple courtyard at 3456 Glenmark Drive.

“We’ll have some great local bands perform this weekend,” said Mario Cee, one of the festival organizers. “It’s sort of East meets West, with indie and folk bands performing along with the Chinese drum troupe, as well as the temple’s zither and erhu bands.”

The Walnut photographer says Buddhism has had a dramatic effect on him.

“It’s totally changed my life. The meditation and teachings have taught me to live in the present and be mindful of how I treat others,” Cee said.

The Hsi Lai Temple docent has led tours of the Buddhist Temple for the past six years. He studies meditation in the Hacienda Heights shrine every Sunday.

“Meditation really helps my concentration and focus,” Cee noted. “We’re lucky to have such a beautiful Buddhist temple right here in Southern California.”

The traditional Chinese mountain monastery is built off Hacienda Boulevard in the Puente Hills. It is one of the largest temples in North America, and the American headquarters for one of Taiwan’s biggest Buddhist organizations, Fo Guang Shan.

The temple’s founder, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, built it to serve as a bridge between East and West. It teaches Buddha’s instructions on kindness and compassion, as well as joy.

For more, read Rich Irwin’s story BUDDHIST.

Helpful Honda Guys offer free car wash on Father’s Day in Covina

The helpful blue shirts are back, just in time for Father’s Day weekend! The Helpful Honda Guys from the commercials are celebrating dads this Father’s Day weekend with complimentary carwashes and valet parking all across Southern California, and are excited to spread the helpfulness this Father’s Day in Covina with complimentary washes for Honda drivers at Grand Car Wash starting at 10 a.m. at 744 N Grand Ave, Covina.

For all locals and non-Honda owners, SoCal Honda is also asking residents to send them a message at #HelpMeHonda to ask for helpfulness. Whether you would like the blue shirts to volunteer at your summer lemonade stand, need help moving into the dorms, or about to get married and could use some extra hands to setup your wedding.. the Helpful Honda Guys are real and here to help just like in the new commercials “Random Act of Helpfulness”.

For clues on what the helpful guys are up to, and to request them at your next event, visit and Twitter @HelpfulHonda.

Caltrans announces closings for work on Route 60

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, June 16, through Friday, June 20

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, June 20, through Sunday, June 22

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-60CLOSED

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-60CLOSED
  • ·          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.


Father’s Day fundraiser held for Walnut Relay for Life

Alamo Car Wash and Passionate Florist are hosting a “Father’s Day…Fun Day” to raise money for the Walnut Relay for Life, American Cancer Society. The fundraiser will take place on Sunday, June 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Alamo Car Wash, 784 North Nogales in  Walnut.

On this day, fathers who wash their cars, will receive free food and fun. A portion of all car wash sales will be donated to the Walnut Relay for Life.

Festivities will include sports channels on all Alamo Car Wash TVs, wrestling table and games available for fun. Street Tacos and Fruit Revolution, which are Walnut businesses, will provide the food. Alamo Car Wash and Passionate Florist will provide the games and treats.

Walnut Relay for Life is a 24 hour event taking place at Mt. San Antonio College, Hilmer Lodge Stadium, 1100 North Grand Avenue, Walnut, CA 91789. The relay begins on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. and ends on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. Participants may register online at or they may register onsite at 8:00 a.m.

There will be a special tent at the relay for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers. Activities include Zumba, Kidz Kamp, an inflatable obstacle course, Luminaria ceremony and MTM Band. The Walnut Relay for Life is a fun event for all ages.

For additional questions, call: Passionate Florist (626) 506-8014.

Puente Hills Habitat holds nature photography contest

The Puente Hills Preservation Habitat Authority invities residents to join a nature photography contest running through June 15th, awarding a total of $500 in cash to top entries.
The photography contest, currently accepting submissions, aims to promote interest in the unique expanse of urban wilderness and to encourage use of the trails through the canyons and wildlands of the Puente Hills.
Photos submitted must be original works taken from the Preserve, falling in one of four categories: flora, fauna, landscapes, and recreation. The top 40 works will be exhibited at Whittier City Hall this summer, and five winners will be awarded a $100 cash prize, one per category, as well as a wildcard “People’s Choice” category.
For more information please visit

Emergency preparedness fair on June 21 in Schabarum Park

Understanding that emergencies and disasters can happen at any moment, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe is inviting residents to learn valuable life-saving skills at a free community emergency preparedness fair on Saturday June 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Schabarum Regional Park in Rowland Heights.

“We live in a region that is susceptible to fires and earthquakes, and residents must be prudent in ensuring they are ready in case of an emergency,” said Supervisor Knabe. “I encourage all residents to attend this free event, because in the event of a disaster, it’s critical to have a plan to get themselves and their families out of harm’s way.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, CHP, Office of Emergency Management, Animal Care & Control, Public Works, Public Health, Red Cross and many more organizations will be available to demonstrate life-saving techniques, like CPR, and provide informational handouts.

A representative from Cal Tech will deliver a keynote address on earthquake preparation in southern California. Fair attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase emergency equipment and supplies, including first aid kits, water, food, and generators.

Hazardous and E-Waste Roundup set for June 14 at Fairplex

A Household Hazardous and E-Waste Roundup will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 14 at the L.A. County Fair, Hotel & Exposition Complex at
Gate 9 on White Avenue in Pomona.

County residents will have the opportunity to safely discard of household hazardous waste such as antifreeze, unused pharmaceuticals, car batteries, used motor oil, paint, pesticides, home-generated sharps waste such as  hypodermic needles, pen needles, syringes, lancets, and intravenous needles, universal waste including household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, and electronic waste (e-waste) such as TVs and monitors, computers, VCRs, stereos, and cell phones.

The free program is sponsored by the County of Los Angeles and presented by the Department of Public Works and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County in cooperation with the City of Pomona and the neighboring cities of Claremont, Covina, Diamond Bar, Glendora, Industry, La Verne, San Dimas, and Walnut.