Los Altos High teacher charged with sex with student

By Ruby Gonzales, Staff Writer

A Los Altos High School chemistry teacher was charged Wednesday for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old student.

District Attorney spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child were filed against David Park, 37, of Chino Hills.B-pSaNkVEAEnYPl

Investigators alleged he molested the girl after school in a classroom and at his home from September to November 2014.

Wearing a gray T-shirt and with his hands handcuffed behind his back, Park appeared Tuesday afternoon at Pomona Superior Court for an arraignment which was continued to March 9.

Park’s bail was $1 million after deputies arrested him Monday night. The bail for the charges filed is $75,000.

“I think it requires a deviation from $75,000 just for protection of the community,” Commissioner Wade Olson said.

He set bail at $150,000. Olson said if Park is released on bail, he must have no contact with the victim. He reminded Park that there is a protective order.

Park’s father and another relative attended the arraignment. They declined comment.

Read more in Ruby Gonzales story BAIL.

Los Altos teacher accused of having sex with 15-year-old student

Deputies arrested a Los Altos High School biology and chemistry teacher Monday night for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old student on campus after school hours and at his Chino Hills home.

David Park, 37, was booked on suspicion of oral copulation, lewd acts with a child 15 years old and sexual battery. He is expected to be arraigned today at Pomona Superior Court and is being held on $1 million bail.

Hacienda La Puente Unified Superintendent Cindy Parulan-Colfer said a faculty member noticed that the teen seemed very upset Monday afternoon.

The sophomore said she’d been molested by Park since September, according to Lt. Andrew Meyer of the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau.

Los Altos Principal Cheli McReynolds called the Sheriff’s Industry station.B-pSaNkVEAEnYPl

Sgt. Al Fraijo said detectives discovered written evidence that substantiated the allegations. He didn’t give details on where evidence was found or what kind.

Read more in ARREST.

Kiwanis Club gives socks, shoes to Rowland kids

Katherine Rodriguez helps Edgar Hernandez  put on his new shoes.  (Photo Correspondent by Shilah Montiel/

Katherine Rodriguez helps Edgar Hernandez put on his new shoes. (Photo Correspondent by Shilah Montiel/

The Kiwanis Club showed a lot of Heart and Sole on Friday during its fourth annual shoe giveway. The Hacienda Heights club gave more than 100 pairs of new shoes to students in the Rowland Unified School District.

The Kiwanis set up camp at the new Family Resource Center in La Puente. There, they greeted the families as they arrived for their special treats.

“This year, we’ve helping 106 students who have been preselected by the school district,” said Kiwanian Dave Malkin. “Much of the money was raised by the Rowland Heights Senior Pathfinders group. Ashika Shoes also helped a lot.”

After registering, children moved over to a large book case, where they got to pick out a free book.

Little 4-year-old Brianna Cazun chose a colorful children’s book, while her mom picked out another for older daughter, Janeli, who attends Telesis Academy.

Another 4-year-old, Edgar Fernandez, finally decided on an alphabet book. The colorful pages were full of everyday items that began with a letter in the alphabet.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story SHOES.

Celebrating Chinese New Year in Hacienda Heights

People hand money to Lion dancers at Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda

People hand money to Lion dancers at Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda

Thousands turned out to celebrate Chinese New Year at the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple on Thursday as families clambered up Hacienda Boulevard to reach the mountain monastery nestled in the Puente Hills.

The Year of the Ram began under picture postcard blue skies framed by the brilliant red temple arches.

“We had more than 400 people lined up to get when we opened the gates at 5 a.m.,” reported Miao Hsi, the temple director.

The faithful arrived before dawn for their annual pilgrimage up the hill. Participants took three steps, then bowed and prayed to show their devotion to Buddha.

Long lines formed at the shrines — everyone waiting their turn to pray for health and a prosperous new year. Sweet incense awakened the senses as families prayed to their ancestors.

Most wore bright red clothing that matched hundreds of Chinese lanterns hung around the temple. Walnut Councilwoman Mary Su came wearing an embroidered crimson gown.

“I only wear this outfit once a year, you’re supposed to wear something new so you have prosperity the whole year long,” Su said.

Su, who is not a Buddhist, said Chinese New Year represents family and culture for her.

“It’s an opportunity for our family to get together and celebrate,” Su said. “The whole family stayed up until midnight, so we could start the new year together.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story RAM.

Los Altos High holds opening day for baseball

Los Altos High School will celebrate the opening day for baseball on Saturday. It has planned a full day of fun activities, including an alumni vs. varsity game at 9:30 a.m. and JV game at 11 a.m.
The biggest event, the annual COW POOP DEEED BINGO begins at noon. Cows will roam a large painted coordinate grid out on the field. The three first poops made where people have purchased those deed spots, win cash prizes.
There will also be food booths, games and a dunk tank

Chinese New Year celebrated in Los Angeles

Dressed in traditional Vietnamese clothing Anh Phan, of Garden Grove, visits the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 which is decorated for the upcoming Lunar New Year's celebration. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

Dressed in traditional Vietnamese clothing Anh Phan, of Garden Grove, visits the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

Billions of people will celebrate Chinese New Year Thursday, including the 1.5 million of Asian descent living in Southern California.

Families have spent recent days cleaning their homes to prepare for the Year of the Ram. Most will hold held their annual reunion banquet, gathering generations together for a communal meal.

“The Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday in the Chinese culture,” said Sonya Lee, professor of Chinese culture at USC. “Chinese families always get together for big family reunions.”

The San Gabriel Valley started celebrating Feb. 7 when Monterey Park held its Lunar New Year Festival. Seven city blocks were devoted to food, entertainment and family activities. Thousands cheered on the traditional lion and dragon dancers.

Chinatown Los Angeles welcomed the new year Wednesday night with a late-night ceremony at Thien Hau Temple on Yale Street. Families offered gifts and burned incense to seek good fortune in the new year. They were joined by monks, as well as leaders of Chinese-family associations.

The New Year’s celebrations also began before dawn this morning with a pilgrimage up the Puente Hills to the Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights. Pilgrims walk three steps, then bow in prayer to show their devotion and humility at one of the largest temples in the Western Hemisphere.

The day for reverence and reflection includes the Thousand Buddha Dharma, a solemn ceremony in which Buddhists pray for good fortune in the Year of the Ram.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story RAM.

Man accused of Rowland, Hacienda Heights arson

By Brian Day, Staff Writer

A man is accused of lighting a series of seven fires inside the restrooms of open businesses in an unusually brazen arson spree in recent weeks in Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights and Walnut, authorities said.

Deputies arrested David Lin, 42, Tuesday, Sgt. John Hanson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail said. He had been sought in connection with a string of fires that began in December, the sergeant said. Three of the alleged fires occurred Tuesday alone.

Though the fires remained confined to the restrooms they were lit in, the suspect’s reckless and bold behavior was deeply concerning, arsonist profiler Detective Ed Nordskog of the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail said.

“For somebody to go into an open business during business hours and light a fire, it’s really rare, even for serial arsonists,” Nordskog said. “What he does is so high-risk. He’s a rare breed. That makes him dangerous.”

No injuries were reported in the fires, Hanson said.

Detectives first became aware of an arsonist operating in the area when they were called to investigate a fire lit Jan. 29 in the bathroom of L & L Hawaiian Barbecue, 515 S. Grand Ave. in Walnut, Hanson said. Someone set fire to paper items such as toilet paper and toilet seat covers, inside the bathroom.

The following day, another similar fire erupted in a bathroom at Office Depot, 17450 Colima Road in Rowland Heights, Hanson said. The flames caused at least $2,000 in damage before fire sprinklers and firefighters extinguished it.

Detectives learned that another similar fire had taken place in December at the Rolling Wok restaurant, 18382 Colima Road in Rowland Heights, as well as at the Guppy House restaurant, 17188 Colima Road in Hacienda Heights, on Jan. 27, the sergeant said.

A break in the case Tuesday, as the suspect accelerated his arson spree, Hanson said. Three similar bathroom fires were reported Tuesday at McDonalds, 19775 Colima Road in Rowland Heights; Del Taco, 21060 Golden Springs Drive in Rowland Heights; and finally at Ten Ren’s Tea Time, 515 S. Grand Ave. in Rowland Heights.

But as the fires were igniting Tuesday, detectives managed to identify a suspect through surveillance images, witness statements and booking photos from previous arrests. A bulletin was sent out to patrol deputies, who spotted Lin driving Tuesday afternoon.

Lin led deputies on a brief chase before pulling over and surrendering in the parking lot of a Rowland Heights supermarket, Hanson said. During the pursuit, he allegedly threw methamphetamine from the car.

He was booked on suspicion of one count of arson for the tea house fire, felony evading of police and drug possession, Hanson said. Addition charges for the other six arson fires were expected to come later.

Lin, described as a former West Covina resident who has been living out of his car in recent months, was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Thursday in Pomona Superior Court, records show. But Lin’s bail is likely to increase as additional charges are added later.

168 Market’s grand opening offers grand prizes in Hacienda Heights

To celebrate 168 Market’s grand opening in Hacienda Heights, 168 Market held a grand opening sweepstakes that ran from Nov. 22 to Jan. 31.

The sweepstakes garnered great interest among residents of the community, who were happy to have a 168 Market open in the neighborhood. With the sweepstakes’ raffle box full of entry forms, the time has finally come to draw the lucky winners for the sweepstakes.

On Saturday, Feb. 7, at 11 a.m., 168 Market in Hacienda Heights will hold a prize drawing event, where prize winners will be drawn on-site. The grand prize is a 50” LCD HD TV from Top Sponsor Sceptre.

Top prizes include Sceptre’s TV Sound Bars, SoundEP Zipper Earphones, and SoundPal Bluetooth Speakers. Other exciting prizes include a 16GB Kindle Fire HDX, 16GB Tegra Note 7, and more than  $1000 in gift cards to 168 Market. Don’t miss out!

168 Market features a wide variety of  Chinese specialty grocery items, the market prides itself on freshly caught seafood, superior quality meat, and flavorful produce, all at low prices.

The Hacienda Heights location also offers a large volume of Korean products such as snacks, candy, frozen foods, and specialty dishes.

The store boasts a specialty Korean deli which sells authentic and mouth-watering Korean banchan. The variety of spice and flavor is unbeatable and makes 168 Market a one of a kind supermarket in the Hacienda Heights area.

168 Market  is located at 17120 Colima Road in Hacienda Heights.  Business Hour are 8 AM to 10 PM daily.

Improvement association meets in Hacienda Heights

The Hacienda Heights Improvement Association will hold it Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 21 in the new Hacienda Heights Community Center at 1234 Valencia Ave., Heights. 

Reports for events of 2014 will be presented by the officers and chairs of the Association Committees.  The highlight of the evening is the counting of ballots for candidates to fill six vacancies on the Board of Directors.  

Doors open at 6 pm and the meeting will begin at 6:30 pm. Refreshments will be served. 

In the event members did not mail their ballots, they may bring them to the meeting.  The meeting is open to all residents of Hacienda Heights.  

For further information please call Mike Williams, Chair Public Relations, at 626-536-3407

13 hurt in freeway crash in Hacienda Heights

0107_NWS_SGT-L-BUSCRASH01
By Ruby Gonzales, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Sandra Molina, Whittier Daily News

Thirteen people suffered minor injuries when a tour bus and two big rigs collided Wednesday morning on the eastbound 60 Freeway at 7th Avenue, fire officials said.

Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Thomas Richards said there were 30 passengers on the bus along with the driver and tour guide. There were two people in one of the rig, he added.

“This incident consisted of two big rigs and a charter bus, with one of the big rigs striking another big rig,” said Public Information Officer Al Perez of the Santa Fe Springs California Highway Patrol office. “The second big rig was pushed toward the median and struck the charter bus, which was traveling in the HOV (carpool) lane or the number one lane.”

How the collision happened will be determined once the bus driver has been interviewed by authorities, he said.

The bus picked up passengers in Monterey Park and were headed to Pala Casino Spa And Resort south of Temecula, according to Perez.

The bus company, ETA Enterprise, Perez said, was in good standing with all its permits in order.

Fire Inspector Randall Wright described the collision between the big rig and the tour bus as a “glancing type of blow.”

None of the vehicles rolled over or flipped, he added. Response by the L.A. County Fire included engines, trucks, paramedics and a hazardous materials unit. There was no fire or gasoline spill, Wright said.