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

Grammy gala honors Diamond Bar High musicians

Diamond Bar High musicians perform at Grammy Gala. (Photo by Kelli Gile)

Diamond Bar High musicians perform at Grammy Gala. (Photo by Kelli Gile)

And the Grammy goes to Diamond Bar High School.

Diamond Bar celebrated its selection as one of only a dozen high schools picked as a Grammy signature school with a gala Monday night in the Diamond Bar Center.

In fact, the local high school was named the best, earning the title of National Grammy Signature School in addition to receiving $6,000.

Diamond Bar High musicians perform at Grammy Gala. (Photo by Kelli Gile)

Diamond Bar High musicians perform at Grammy Gala. (Photo by Kelli Gile)

“Through this Grammy in the Schools initiative, the Grammy Foundation is able to provide critical financial resources and bring attention to the excellence of music programs in schools across the United States,” said Neil Portnow, President and CEO of The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation.

The foundation will recognize Diamond Bar during a special concert on Saturday in the Mt. San Antonio College theater. The community added its support by throwing the semiformal ball.

The Brahmas and their supporters gathered Monday to honor the musical program under teachers Steve Acciani and Marie Sato, directors of instrumental music, and choir director Patty Breitag.

“We are incredibly proud of Patty, Marie, and Steve for this amazing accomplishment,” said Principal Catherine Real.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story GRAMMY

Walnut Military Support Group plans event at Diamond Bar Center

The new Walnut Military Support Group will honor our military men, women and their families on April 25 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight in the Diamond Bar Center at 1600 Grand Ave. in Diamond Bar.

The event will feature a buffet dinner, entertainment and dancing. A silent auction will offer items like the use of a vacation house in Arizona.

Proceeds will be used to provide personal support to help make a difference in the lives of our military and their families. The new committee is partnering with the City of Walnut.

In the future, the support group hopes to extend its services to neighboring cities. Tickets are $30. Call Kris Aguilar at 909-519-6465.

Paso Robles wine trip added to library’s wine soiree auction in Diamond Bar

The 21st Annual Wine Soiree auction chair announced that a Wine Vacation in Paso Robles will be offered in its live auction on April 27 for the Diamond Bar Library fundraiser.

The vacation package includes a 2-night stay at the exclusive Cass Winery Guest House and use of their limousine while tasting wines all day in Paso Robles Wine Country.

Call 909-861-2002 or visit the Diamond Bar Library, or visit  www.dblibraryfriends.org for tickets.

Inland Valley Humane Society rescues 11 dogs in Diamond Bar

The Inland Valley Humane Society and SPCA reports that 11 dogs being kept in inhumane conditions were rescued on Wednesday from a Diamond Bar residence. All of the animals are currently being cared for at the society’s shelter in Pomona, where they are being evaluated and treated by veterinarians.

The society’s investigators responded to a tip that dogs were being housed in deplorable conditions at a home located on Summit Ridge in Diamond Bar.

With help from the LA County Sheriff’s Department, Animal Services Supervisor Beth Les led the team of humane officers and oversaw the search and seizure. They responded with several rescue units and found the animals living in filth and suffering from a lack of basic care.

The society said officers also found four dead animals that had been stored in a freezer at the residence. The home was reportedly covered with feces and trash.

Eight of the eleven dogs are currently available for adoption. The society intends to pursue charges against the individuals involved.

Anyone interested in adoption should contact the adoption department at 909-623-9777, ext. 611 or 612. To make a tax–deductible donation to the rescue fund, visit www.ivhsdonate.org.

Gas prices near $5 a gallon in Diamond Bar

Southland gas prices have risen dramatically in recent days as Easter weekend approaches, and one industry expert figures they’ll remain above $4 a gallon until September. At the Mobil station on the corner of Diamond Bar Boulevard and Golden Springs Drive in Diamond Bar, a gallon of regular unleaded was selling for $4.79 on Tuesday.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Los Angeles County hit $4.30 Tuesday, up 17 cents from a week ago and up 26 cents from a month ago, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The Inland Empire saw a similar gain. Monday’s average price was $4.24 a gallon, up 16 cents for the week and up 24 cents from a month ago. California’s average price for regular was $4.18 a gallon Tuesday, topped only by Hawaii’s average price of $4.31 a gallon.

“I think it will level off now, but prices won’t fall below $4 a gallon until September,” said Bob van der Valk, senior editor for the Bakken Oil Business Journal. “It’s because of the lack of supply … there’s just no backup supply.”

Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California, linked the price hikes to several factors.

“Most of our refineries should be through with the turnaround maintenance that’s involved when they convert from winter-grade to summer-grade gas,” he said. “But two refineries — the Chevron refinery in El Segundo and the Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance — will still be down for a couple more weeks.”

Read more in Kevin Smith’s story GAS

Friends of library plan wine soiree on April 27 in Diamond Bar

Residents enjoy last year's wine soiree to benefit Diamond Bar Library (Photo courtesy of Friends of Library)

Residents enjoy last year’s wine soiree to benefit Diamond Bar Library (Photo courtesy of Friends of Library)

The Diamond Bar Friends of the Library will hold their 21st annual Wine Soiree and Benefit Auction on April 27 in the Diamond Bar Center from 4-7 p.m.

This annual event more than 350 guests, who get to enjoy a pleasant afternoon tasting a wide variety of wines, including many that have won gold, silver, and bronze medals in The Los Angeles Wine Competition.

They will also be sampling well over a dozen restaurants. They may bid on great auction items and enjoy  some music. All from the hilltop views of the Diamond Bar Center.

This year promises to be bigger and better than ever. Soiree will help celebrate the city’s 25th anniversary. Together they have accomplished a lot over the years, including the opening in 2012 of Diamond Bar’s new library!

The grand event welcomes everyone 21 years or older. Advance tickets are only $50, $60 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the Diamond Bar Library, the Friends’ Basically BOOKS book stores, U.S. Bank or California Bank & Trust in Diamond Bar, or by calling (909) 861-2002.

 

Diamond Bar High Robotics ready for FIRST Las Vegas Regionals

Team Sprocket 3473 in action during the FIRST Inland Empire Regional Competition. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Huo, team student )photographer.

Team Sprocket 3473 in action during the FIRST Inland Empire Regional Competition. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Huo, team student )photographer.

By Walnut Valley Unified

Diamond Bar High School Robotics Team is gearing up for the Las Vegas FIRST Regional Competition scheduled April 2-5.  Team Sprocket vied in the 2014 Season FRC Robotics “Aerial Assist” Inland Empire Regionals held at Grand Terrace High School on February 28-March 2.

The robot was programmed to score points in either high or low goals at the opposing sides of the arena. The team ranked  #2 early in the competition with a score of 140 points – the highest in the entire competition! Team Sprocket finished in 16th place after incurring then fixing some mechanical issues. The team fund-raised, built and programmed their robot to perform FRC described tasks against a field of competitors under the strict FRC competition rules. Volunteer professional mentors lend their expertise to guide the team.

“Not only are the students building a championship-winning robot, they are learning about science, technology, computer programming, managing finances and budgets, and learning to motivate others. These lessons are the real things that students get from FRC competitions and these are the things they will be able to retain and use for the rest of their lives,” said mentor Boeing engineer Clark Rucker.

Team Sprocket is now ready to for their final competition of the season and looking forward to bringing home a trophy to the Walnut Valley Unified School District!

“Since the last competition, our team has made some mechanical and programming adjustments and have been practicing every day for at least three hours to get ready for the Las Vegas tournament,” said Spirit Captain Alice Chen.