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.

 

Diamond Bar couple engaged where it all began, Quail Summit

Sometimes, you know from the first dance, the first kiss, that she is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Sometimes, it takes 17 years.

Michael Siacunco and Sarah Lin of Diamond Bar became engaged Friday night at Quail Summit Elementary. Not something you see every day in a public school.

Siacunco, an airman who works in systems engineering at Buckley Air Force Base outside of Denver, recently returned home for leave. He thought it was time for the next step in their relationship. His younger brother, Cody, pushed Michael to ask Sarah, now a cardiac unit nurse at UCLA Medical Center, to marry him.

“I thought it was time for all or nothing, the title of our first dance,” Michael said.

So the young man began his campaign to win over Sarah’s heart. Gathering his friends, Michael planned a special night that would remind her of their time together.

He recruited her friend to “hang out” with Sarah last Friday. The friend took her on some “errands.” They stopped at Chaparral, where friends held up a sign reminding her of the first kiss.

They stopped at Diamond Bar High, where other friends reminded them of their shared past, then the Diamond Bar Center, where the couple had spent so many hours talking about life.

Arriving at Quail Summit, Sarah started crying when she saw rose petals on the sidewalks lit by candlelight, with strings of lights on the railings. A movie screen showed a special video made by Michael.

Friends led her to the amphitheater, where Sarah had chased a little boy 17 years ago. “It was kind of blurred because I was crying so hard,” she said.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story ENGAGED. 

Caltrans posts closures on 60 pavement project

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, July 14, through Friday, July 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, July 18, through Sunday, July 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 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.

Vector Control finds West Nile virus in Diamond Bar and Hacienda Heights

As summer heats up, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District  advises residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes and West Nile virus. It has confirmed additional West Nile virus positive activity in the communities of Diamond Bar and Hacienda Heights (zip codes 91789 and 91745, respectively).

Vector control confirmed a WNV positive mosquito sample in Diamond Bar and a WNV positive dead bird in Hacienda Heights. This is the first sign of virus activity this year in both communities. View District statistics here. Statewide this year, there have been more than 100 positive mosquito samples and more than 250 positive dead birds. View more at westnile.ca.gov.

“This is a reminder that West Nile virus continues to be a problem here in Los Angeles County,” says Levy Sun, the public information officer. “We can anticipate more activity as the season progresses.”

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.  There is no cure for West Nile virus.  One in five persons infected with West Nile virus will exhibit symptoms.  Symptoms usually occur between 5 and 15 days and can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash.  These symptoms can last for several days to months.  One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization.  Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis, and possibly death.

Any water left standing for more than one week in containers such as flower pots, fountains and pet dishes provides the perfect breeding habitat for mosquitoes.  GLACVCD would like to remind residents that even the smallest of breeding sources can contribute to a large public health problem within the Greater Los Angeles County area.

Residents can take an active role in reducing the threat of WNV in their neighborhoods by taking the following steps:

  1. Eliminate stagnant, dirty water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, pet dishes, discarded tires, or anything that holds water for more than a week
  2. Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained
  3. Request FREE mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds
  4. Go online to ReportMosquitoes.org or call 562-944-9656 to report the following:
    • Mosquito problems near your home or neighborhood
    • Neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood (including vacant homes)

For more information, residents can contact Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at562-944-9656 or online at www.glacvcd.org.

Fire officials warn of an intense fire season at Diamond Bar Center

The Los Angeles County Fire Department met with other local and federal agencies in Diamond Bar to discuss and warn the public that the upcoming fire season will be “intense,” due to ongoing drought conditions in the state.

“The last fire season never really ended,” said Shawna Legarza, director of Fire and Aviation Management for the U.S. Forest Service. “We fought fires in mid-December and the middle of January. We’ve never had that before.”

The Forest Service director noted that California hasn’t had significant rainfall since 2010. Legarza said the ongoing drought means fire conditions are running two months ahead of what you would normally find.

Which means Southern California is dry as you would expect to find it in September. To cope, fire officials are preparing for wild fires much earlier than usual.

“We could have fires start all over the state in these conditions. So we started adding staff in January, that’s unprecedented,” explained Ken Pimlott, Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Cal Fire has spent $242 million in the fiscal year ending last night on wildland fires.

The conference was held one year to the day from when 19 firefighters were killed in the Yarnell Hills fire in Arizona. The firemen were remembered in several ceremonies Monday as well as by fire officials in Diamond Bar.

“I was a hotshot for 20 years and many of Granite Mountain Hotshots were my friends,” Legarza said. “I think about these people, as well as another 14 firefighters who died almost 20 years.”

That group of firefighters died July 6, 1994, on Storm King Mountain in Colorado’s South Canyon Fire. Though the investigations continue, shifting winds, steep canyons and a lack of situational awareness were all factors in the deaths.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story WILDFIRE.

Fire officials will discuss the 2014 fire season in Diamond Bar Center on Monday

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby will join Forest Service, CAL FIRE, and other agencies to discuss the upcoming fire season on Monday at the Diamond Bar Center.

Fire officials will discuss the outlook for the 2014 season, as well as the impact the drought is having on firefighting. A display of regional firefighting resources will be on hand, including specialty wildland equipment.

We’ll share what we learn online Monday and in Tuesday’s San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Diamond Bar teens enjoy Teen Night Out on July 18

Diamond Bar teens are invited to the city’s annual Teen Night Out event from 7 to 10 p.m. July 18.

Planned by the teen group “DB4Youth In Action,” the event will be held in Sycamore Canyon Park at 22930 Golden Springs Drive.

Teens can dance to Top 40 dance and pop hits. A variety of activities will include air tag, a human sphere ball and other inflatable games.

Admission is free for youth ages 13 to 19. Snacks, beverages, keepsake photographs and glow-in-the-dark items may be bought, with proceeds benefiting future activities by DB4Youth In Action.

For more information, call Alison Meyers at 909-839-7062.

Diamond Bar Council discusses new city park

What’s in a name? Obviously, a lot. The Diamond Bar Council deferred naming the city’s newest park planned for the Willow Heights section under development by Lennar Homes.

The big developer plans to build nearly 200 homes on 30 acres of land purchased from the Walnut Valley Unified School District for $40 million. The project is at the corner of Brea Canyon Road and Diamond Bar Boulevard.

As part of the plan, Lennar agreed to build a new community park. The City Council considered the park plans at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“One of the many conditions of approval that the City council attached to the project approval was that the developer create a minimum 2.5-acre public park,” noted City Manager James DeStefano.

The proposed park will have almost 5 acres, including almost an acre of land on the west side of the Brea Canyon Flood Control Channel, and 3.8 acres on the east side. They would be connected by a pedestrian bridge.

Residents and the parks and recreation commission suggested naming the new park Diamond Canyon. But Mayor Carol Herrera expressed concern that a local church already shared the same name.

Other suggestions included Willow Heights Park, Brea Canyon Park, Gateway and Peaceful Garden Park. It also could be called Crooked Creek Park because it serves as the trail head for Crooked Creek Trail.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story PARK.

Recycled water fights drought in Walnut Valley and Rowland

Drought resistant garden graces roof of recycled water reservoir in Walnut Valley Water District

Drought resistant garden graces roof of recycled water reservoir in Walnut Valley Water District

You can’t drink it and you can’t bathe in it, but recycled water is a vital part of the solution to our ongoing drought.

Walnut Valley and Rowland Water Districts are adding it to their arsenal as they strive to ensure water service at reasonable rates.

“More than 60 percent of our customers’ water usage is outside the home,” explained Mike Holmes, Walnut’s general manager. “Most of that is used for landscaping, and you don’t need potable water for that.”

So the two local water districts have banded together to build recycled water systems to serve large commercial users such as golf courses and cemeteries. It is also used in our city and county parks.

Walnut water officials say they deliver 537 million gallons of this “drought-proof” water every year. That’s a half-billion gallons of water that don’t have to be imported from Northern California.

The two water districts receive recycled water from the County Sanitation Districts’ Pomona Water Reclamation Plant. Recycled water is the name given wastewater that has been treated extensively. After being tested and certified by the Department of Health Services, the recycled water is safe for irrigation purposes.

One of Walnut’s last projects was a new 1 million gallon reservoir for recycled water at the district’s Parker Canyon facility. Even the roof of the semi-submerged reservoir was recycled, holding a garden that helps it blend into the Puente Hills.

And the Rowland Water District installed a new recycled water line along Fullerton Road, running from Industry under the 60 Freeway to the Queen of Heaven cemetery.

“In addition to buying water from the La Habra Heights Water District, recycled water will help us guarantee service to our customers at a reasonable rate,” said Rowland’s General Manager Ken Deck.

Read more in my story RECYCLED