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.

Andy Shin named Community Hero by Diamond Bar

Andy Shin has been named one of Diamond Bar’s community heroes. The teen at Diamond Bar High was nominated by Wanda Tanaka, adviser with the Leo Club.

“Andy has been a wonderful community volunteer in our city of Diamond Bar. Whenever there are activities to help out anyone, Andy is the first one to sign up.”

“Andy has not missed any club meetings the whole year, and will be our Leo Club vice president next year…. The Leo Club is sponsored by Lions Club International and the Diamond Bar Breakfast Club.”

“You can count on Andy for helping our people and our community. This year, Andy has been awarded the Lions Young Leader Gold Service Award from Lions Club International for his community service.”

Andy is also a member of the Make A Wish, French Club and Go Club at the local high school.

 

Diamond Bar veteran honored for work on 9/11

By Richard Irwin, Staff Writer

Diamond Bar is honoring it’s own 9/11 hero today at the Los Angeles County Fair. The fair committee thought it was fitting since Diamond Bar Day fell on the anniversary of this tragic event.

“We wanted to find someone who had responded to the 9/11 attack as a tribute to those who died that day,” said committee member Pamela Robinson.

The committee had a hard time locating a local person, until they talked to a resident during a Concert in the Park this summer.

“Khai Luu said he had been a platoon leader assigned to protect the Pentagon and the Capitol after the 9/11 attack,” Robinson recalled. “He agreed to help us pay tribute to our 9/11 responders.”

The Diamond Bar resident had been serving as a young lieutenant with the 274th Military Police Company in Washington, D.C.

“I was working for the District of Columbia’s National Guard,” Luu explained. “Before attending officer candidate school, I had served four years as an enlisted man.”

Unfortunately, Luu was participating in an exercise at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri when the attack occurred.

“It was an ‘aw shucks’ moment, I felt profound guilt and loss when I found out about the attack,” he remembered. “But they let us graduate early so we could help out in Washington.”

He was hoping to be one of the first to make it back, but Luu said it took a week to return to the D.C. barracks.

“I was given command of a reinforced platoon of 60 soldiers to help guard the Pentagon and Capitol buildings,” Luu said. “The Capitol Police were happy to have the help, because we didn’t know what would happen next.”

Luu was stunned to see a section of the Pentagon destroyed after being struck by an airliner. Another had targeted the Capitol, but crashed in western Pennsylvania when the passengers rushed the cockpit.

For more, read Rich Irwin’s story 9/11.

L.A. County Fair salutes Diamond Bar, Walnut

 By Monica Rodriguez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

High school marching bands, parades and a chance to honor outstanding residents from communities across the Inland Valley and beyond are some of the features of the Los Angeles County Fair’s Community Days.

A total of 16 cities plus Los Angeles County will have a day dedicated to them. Diamond Bar will march in on  Sept. 11, followed by Walnut on Sept. 26.

As part of the Community Days program, residents are able to purchase tickets for $5 when they present their city’s Community Day coupon at the ticket booth on the day their city is being honored. Tickets can also be purchased online.

 

 

“That’s a great value,” said Fair spokeswoman Renee Hernandez.

Each city’s celebration is organized with the involvement of its Community Committee, she said.

At each city’s celebration residents are recognized for their contributions during Community Heroes ceremonies.

The cities’ high school marching bands participate in Community Day parades as do service organizations, nonprofit groups and other members of the community.

Local businesses also participate through Business Expos organized on a city’s day of recognition.

 

 

Community Days are part of nurturing community spirit, Hernandez said.

Nine of the cities that are part of the Fair’s Community Day program also participate in the Big Yellow Bus Partnership Program.

With the help of this program, school districts in the nine cities receive assistance to pay for transportation to take their students to the Fair, Hernandez said.

Once at the Fair students can take part in the FairKids Field Trip Program, which is open to all schools free of cost as well as to students who are home-schooled.

Former Diamond Bar teacher gets 15 years in prison for molestation

 By Brian Day, Staff Writer

A judge sentenced a former Diamond Bar middle school teacher to more than 15 years in prison Thursday for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student, officials said.

Ex-Carl Lorbeer Middle School teacher Steven Shane Andrews, 43, of Anaheim, received the maximum sentence of 15 years and 18 months in state prison from Pomona Superior Court Judge Mike Camacho, according to Sarah Ardalani of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

A jury convicted Andrews in March of 17 felony counts related to the a sexual relationship he had with a student between May 2011 and his his Sept. 20, 2011, arrest, authorities said.

Camacho additionally ordered Andrews to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Ardalani said.

Andrews first met his victim at school when she was 13 years old, investigators said. “The defendant taught the victim for about a year before the sexual misconduct began,” Ardalani said in a written statement. “Initially, the incidents transpired at the school, but later also occurred off-campus.”

The crimes came to light when another teacher at the school became suspicious of Andrews’ interactions with the girl and notified the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, she added.

Andrews was placed on leave from the Pomona Unified School District a day before his arrest when school officials learned of the allegations, district officials said. He was fired in December of 2012.

The investigation was handled by the Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau.

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.

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.