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.

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.

Hacienda Heights man wounded in gang-related shooting

A man suffered a gunshot wound to his neck and a suspect was in custody following a gang-related shooting in a residential neighborhood Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

The shooting took place about 3:40 p.m. in the 1000 block of Olympus Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Art Marrujo said.

The victim, a 44-year-old Hacienda Heights resident and member of a local street gang, suffered a through-and-through wound to his neck but was hospitalized in stable condition after undergoing surgery, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Thurlo said.

The suspect, a local gang member man in his early 20s, was arrested nearby after the chain broke on the bicycle he was using as a getaway vehicle, Thurlo said. His name was not available Sunday afternoon pending the booking process.

All three were on Olympus Avenue when the suspect and victim became involved in an argument over gang affiliations, Thurlo said. The suspect pulled a handgun and shot the victim before fleeing on a bicycle.

A friend of the victim flagged down a sheriff’s deputy and pointed out where the gunman had gone but refused to cooperate further, the sergeant said.

Read more in SHOOTING.

Hacienda Heights Library holds annual used book sale this weekend

The Friends of the Hacienda Heights Library is hosting its annual used booksale on Thursday through Saturday at the library on 16010 La Monde St.

The hours are 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday.  You may join the Friends support group that evening or anytime during the sale.

Available books are fiction, nonfiction, magazines, children’s books, foreign language and audio books.  CD’s and videos will be available. Proceeds go to support library activities.

For more information, or if you would like to help with the book sale itself, call 626-968-9356.

Caltrans posts 60 freeway closings

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, May 5, through Friday, May 9

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, May 9, through Sunday, May 11

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.

Boy Scouts plan pancake breakfast in Hacienda Heights

Boy Scout Troop 710 of Hacienda Heights will host a pancake breakfast fundraiser on Sunday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to noon at St. Matthews Church, 15653 Newton St. in Hacienda Heights.

The breakfast features pancakes, sausage, eggs, fresh fruit, juice, milk and coffee. Tickets are $5 and will be sold at the door.

The project raises funds for  outings and community projects. It also helps them advance in rank. For more information, call 562-556-5182 or email troop710fundraiser@gmail.com.

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

Surf Soup served by Hacienda Heights artist

Animator-Artist Donna Kay Lau of Hacienda Heights has launched the “Surf Soup” Project on Kickstarter, a crowd fund raising website for creative projects. Lau’s “Surf Soup” project premiered at the “dA Center for the Arts,” in Pomona at the Arts Colony.

Lau’s book “Surf Soup” teaches children how to surf and provides character building lessons while learning how to surf. It also focuses on ocean conservation.

It is the first book in a series of specially themed subjects that addresses topics that are important for children to understand.  Proceeds from the projects will be donated to ocean rehabilitation and various charities.

“I want kids to feel the way I did when I was a youngster reading picture books,” Lau said. “Whether it is with a parent, grandparent or teacher or just by me, the anticipation of turning pages filled with wonderful illustrations helped stimulate my imagination and creativity.”

Lau will appear at the Hibbleton Gallery at the Magowski Arts Colony, 223/225 W. Santa Fe Avenue in Fullerton on May 2. Lau’s painting “Honu”(Hawaiian for turtle) is the first installation in her “Surf Soup” project that she is funding through a Kickstarter campaign.

Also appearing with Lau will be “Miss Mary Ann” King who thrilled preschoolers from 1966 to 1976 as host of Romper Room on KCOP-TV.  King wrote the Forward to the “Surf Soup” book.

“I am delighted to support Donna in her launch of the “Surf Soup” project,” King said. “I believe it’s a great cause and a wonderful project for charities.”

Lau, who was recently honored with a Prime-Time Emmy for contributions to the animated series “Regular Show,” has worked on several series for Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network including “Dora the Explorer,” “CatDog,” “Oswald the Octopus,” “Generator Rex.”

She has free-lanced on many productions including the PBS series “Danger Rangers.” She is also the designer of her own children’s’ clothing line “Art is On!” and “Surf Soup” Surf Couture (a unique bikini and clothing line).

For more information on Lau and her Kickstarter campaign http://kck.st/1cTqywp
or click on http://SurfSoup.TV

LA County supervisors OK $400,000 for Hacienda Heights clinic

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe’s office says the county will partner with the John Wesley Community Institute Incorporated (JWCH) to open a new health facility in Hacienda Heights to provide under-served residents with health services Knabe made the motion.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted today to allocate $400,000 to assist with renovations and startup expenses at an existing medical building located in Hacienda Heights. JWCH will use the facility to provide primary care, substance abuse, HIV and mental health services, and more to residents throughout the surrounding areas.

“Access to preventative care is too limited in the eastern part of county, but thanks to this new medical clinic, we will be able to bring first-class healthcare to the community,” said Supervisor Knabe. “The Affordable Care Act still leaves over a million people uninsured, and thanks to this partnership with JWCH, Los Angeles County residents who may not have health insurance, can still receive basic primary care without needing to visit an emergency room. This new health clinic will help us create healthier families and a healthier community.”

JWCH is a private non-profit health agency that has contracted with the County to provide a variety of valuable programs such as: primary care, medical outreach and referrals, HIV treatment and prevention services, drug treatment, health education, psychosocial assessment, and intervention.

The location of the new health clinic will be announced at a later date.