Westhoff Elementary holds cultural fair in Walnut Valley

Valerie Lu served up Hawaiian-style food. Shown with Luke, Monica Y., Caden, and Joyce N.

Valerie Lu served up Hawaiian-style food. Shown with Luke, Monica Y., Caden, and Joyce N.

By Kelli Gile, Walnut Valley

Hundreds of Westhoff Elementary families and friends enjoyed foods from around the world during a Culture Fair held Oct. 10. Fifteen different countries were represented at decorated booths with music, customs, and lots of delicious authentic food. Students wore traditional clothing to parade around the school while a DJ offered music for dining and dancing.

“This is one of my favorite nights of our school year.  Everyone relaxes during the cool evening, eats delicious food, and chats with other Westhoff families,” said Principal Denise Rendon.

The school’s Community Club hosts the fair where parents, students, and teachers come together to celebrate diversity of the many cultures represented at the school.

“It is an opportunity for our children to learn about their friends’ customs and share about their own, ” said President Melinda Powell.

“I like going to Culture Fair because I get to play with all my friends.  My dad likes to take me because he really likes the food, “ said 2nd grader Tiffany Fu.

Westhoff Elementary hosted its annual Culture Fair  with  traditional costumes.

Westhoff Elementary hosted its annual Culture Fair with traditional costumes.

“I dressed up in my Indian Clothes.  I like eating other cultures food, but my favorite was my families’ table of Indian food, ” added Priya Kankanala, a 3rdgrader.

Parent Valerie Lu hosted a Hawaiian booth that was a big hit with Kalua pork, spam musubi, haupia, and of course shaved ice.

“Culture Fair is such a unique tradition at Westhoff. The amount of effort put in by all the parent volunteers is tremendous and just as rewarding,” she said. Community Club member Lu serves as the school’s Coordinating Council representative.

There were many delicious dishes from around the world with pad Thai and pineapple fried rice (Thailand), cream puffs (France), tamales (Mexico), stuffed grape leaves (Egypt), chili and cornbread (USA), and more. Parent volunteers at the China table served foods representing its many different regions including Hunan, Sichuan, and Shandong.  Along with sampling tasty treats at the Pakistan booth, the kids came away decorated with beautiful henna designs.

“It’s such a wonderful opportunity to get to meet the families of our children’s new friends, catch up with old friends, all while enjoying amazing authentic food!” Powell said.

Walnut looking for volunteers to decorate for trunk or treat

Are you psyched for Halloween? Ready to fill your house with spooktacular decorations? Ever think about decorating your car?

Walnut is looking for volunteers willing to decorate the trunks of their cars with ghoulishly great ideas and participate in the City of Walnut’s Mostly Ghostly event on Friday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Walnut Senior Center.

For more information, call Kim Watts at the Senior Center at (909) 598‐6200.

Caltrans closing portions of 60 Freeway for construction

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, October 13, through Friday, October 17

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, October 17, through Saturday, October 18

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.

Christ the King Lutheran Church celebrates 50 years in Walnut

Pic 33 Church exterior 1968

By Christ the King Lutheran Church

On Sunday, Christ the King Lutheran Church in Walnut celebrated its 50th anniversary with Rev. Dr. Larry Stotoerau, President of the Pacific Southwest, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Stoterau preached and Deacon George Pollard, the present Pastor, will served as liturgist. Rev. Martin Lundi, founding pastor, preached at 4 p.m. with Rev. Maynard Saeger, former Interim Pastor as liturgist, and Pollard as the lector.

Special music was performed on the recently rebuilt pipe organ, the only pipe organ in Walnut and harpist, Gretchen Sheetz, a recent graduate of Concordia University, Irvine.

When the Southern California District (now the Pacific Southwest District) of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod’s Mission Board decided to establish a church in Walnut in 1962, they purchased almost five acres in the rolling La Puente Hills that included a new three-bedroom house for $63,570.

In 1964, the district called Rev. Martin Lundi as missionary-at-large to establish a congregation. For the first year, the congregation worshiped at Mt. San Antonio College. In 1966, they moved to Suzanne Middle School, a block west of the church property.

In 1967, the congregation hired an architect, Dennis Wehmueller, to design a building for the hilly property and soon discovered that the property could not be built on, according to the architect, as it would need 37,000 cubic yards of fill dirt that would cost over $100,000.

When Walnut High School was being built across the street, the general contractor asked Pastor Lundi if he could dump 37,000 cubic yards of fill dirt on the church property. Lundi said he would have to compact it, level it according to the architect’s design, and get permits from the city. The contractor agreed.

Later, the architect said he had miscalculated, needing another 4,000 cubic yards of soil. The contractor asked if the church could use another 4,000 cubic yards of soil. He also agreed to pour the curbs and pave half of the streets and the church parking lot at cost.

Today the church is next to the new civic center on La Puente Road in the heart of the city of Walnut where the 45-foot high cross on the church points people to Christ.

The service of celebration was followed by a brunch and a reception in the fellowship hall. After the 4 p.m. service, members recalled the church’s history through a pictorial display, and meet with Rev. Lundi and his wife, Rev. Saeger, and Deacon Pollard. 

Walnut plans big family festival Oct. 11 in Suzanne Park

The 38th Annual Walnut Family Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct.  11 from 8 am to 6 pm at Suzanne Park. This year’s Festival theme is “Rooted in Fun.”

There will be over 100 booths to visit featuring community groups, arts and crafts vendors, and local businesses demonstrating and selling their products. Be sure to visit the Arts & Crafts area for beautiful gifts, home and yard decorating items, clothing, jewelry, holiday items and much more!

The Annual Family Festival Parade steps off at 10:00 am and will march east along La Puente Road from Lemon Avenue to Suzanne Road. Parade highlights include the Wells Fargo Stage Coach, Walnut High School Marching Band, Walnut Sharks Swim Team, Walnut Valley Riders, LA Extreme Cheer, AYSO, community floats, and much more!

Featured on the Valley Vista Stage

11:30 am Opening Ceremonies

12 pm to 2 pm Cold Duck – Top 40

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm Silveradoes – Country

4 pm to 6 pm The Elton John Experience – Best of Elton John

There will be plenty for children to do as this year’s Festival will feature an assortment of carnival games, a mini-Ferris Wheel, Giant Slide, Wow Balls, a giant bounce house, a maze and other inflatables.

The food court will feature many non-profit groups working hard to cook up some delicious food items while trying to earn money for their worthy causes. Stop in for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Walnut / Diamond Bar Lions Club will be flipping flapjacks from 8 am to 10 am so you can get a great breakfast and support your local Lions Club. There will be a variety of lunch and dinner items from burritos to burgers to teriyaki chicken plus snacks galore.

There’s plenty to see and do at this year’s Festival. Come out and join the fun, meet some new friends and catch up with the old ones.

Cecilio gives 10 electric string instruments to Walnut High

Walnut High instrumental music director Buddy Clements thanks Cecilio Instruments for the electric string instrument donation on Sept. 16.

Walnut High instrumental music director Buddy Clements thanks Cecilio Instruments for the electric string instrument donation on Sept. 16.

The Walnut High School Instrumental Music Program received a donation of ten electric string instruments on Sept. 16.  Cecilio Musical Instruments presented the school with four cellos, five violins, and one bass valued at $10,000.

A group of students eagerly watched, as bags of streamlined instruments were carefully unpacked in the orchestra room. The new strings seem futuristic with hollow-shaped frames equipped with an electric outpost for sound and option to be played silent with headphones.

“We want to thank the wonderful people at Cecilio for making this incredible donation, said Instrumental Music Director Buddy Clements.

The school already has big plans for the instruments. An electric string group will be added in front of the marching band’s Pirates of the Caribbean-themed field shows. The group will make their debut performance at a football game in about a month.

“We’ve never seen anybody do this before, so we think it’s pretty innovative,” Clements said.

The specialized strings will also be used with the jazz band and a new western-swing ensemble. Clements said the he kids have been really excited about the new strings.

“They’ve been talking about it and dreaming about it. We couldn’t make it happen, but Cecilio made it happen for us,” he added.

Senior violist Julie Banagale was the first to hold one of the new red mahogany finished electric cellos.

“I’d like to play this!” she said.

Two community members, Betty Tang, president of the World Youth Education and Jennifer Pak, WHS parent and president of the Diamond Youth Symphony Orchestra, stepped forward to coordinate the donation for the school music program.

“We were inspired by the leadership of Principal Jeff Jordan and tireless efforts of directors Dr. Buddy Clements and Corey Wicks,” Tang said.

This is the second year Cecilio has donated to Walnut High.  Last year, they boosted the string program by adding 14 cellos, 10 violas, two basses, saxophones, trombones and more.

“We’re glad to help out.  When we learned there was going to be electric strings with the marching band on the field – it’s going to be great! I can’t wait to come by and see it,” said Cecilio spokesman Derek Zimmerman.

Walnut woman gets 20 years to life for killing husband, pet

Deputy District Attorney Taraneh Saba said Socorro Mora got 16 years to life in prison for fatally stabbing George Mora, 47, on Oct. 19, 2011 at his home in the 21600 block of Brookside Court.

In addition, the 46-year-old Mora also received four years and eight months for stabbing to death the family pet, Snowflake, and for attacking her husband on Sept. 13, 2011.

Saba said Mora was ordered to pay over $17,000 in restitution to the victims for counseling and for funeral expenses. She must also pay over $20,000 in restitution fines, the prosecution added.

A Pomona Superior Court jury on May 12 convicted Mora of second degree murder, cruelty to an animal and corporal injury to a spouse.

The last charge stems from an incident that happened a month before the murder.

Authorities said Mora attacked her husband on Sept. 13, 2011, scratched herself and claimed he did it. George Mora ended up with scratched and bleeding arms, according to the prosecution.

He later filed for and received a restraining order.

A judge ordered Mora to move out of the family home. On the day she was supposed to leave, Sept. 24, 2011, family members discovered the place ransacked and Snowflake the dog dead.

Mora allegedly broke into the Walnut house on Oct. 19, 2011. Her attorney said she knew George Mora wasn’t at the house and wanted to get some of her things.

George Mora arrived home and found his estranged wife.

The defense said an argument between the couple escalated into a knife fight. The defense claimed it was self defense.

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.

Our prayers go out to Andrew Osorio family in Walnut

Received a lovely note from Vejar Elementary in Walnut:

Hi Rich,

Thanks again for supporting us with our Have a Heart campaign for Andrew Osorio.

Andrew is currently in ICU at Children’s hospital.  He has been moved to the top of the transplant list.  Our prayers are with him.  Mom reports that he really wants to get out of the hospital because he says, “it’s time to go to school.”

On Sept. 17 at 7 pm I am making a presentation to the board highlighting a star student from Vejar and community members who have made specific contributions to Vejar.

I am going to honor Andrew as our star student for his bravery, his hard work, and his positive attitude that exemplify not just the Vejar Values, but a strong human spirit.

Additionally, I would like to honor you and Kelli Gile as Vejar’s community helpers.  You both went out of your way to publicize our fundraiser to help Andrew’s family.

You spoke with him and the family with a kindness and empathy that helped all feel at ease.  As a result of the hard work of Andrew’s teacher and your publicity, we were able to give the family almost $3000 from the Vejar Community to help with their expenses related to his health.

I hope that you will join us at the board presentation on Sept. 17 at 7 pm  at the WVUSD district board room.

Sincerely,

Jen De Anda

Principal

 

Young Walnut chef competes on Food Network

Sean Lew of Walnut will compete in "Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off" on Food Network

Sean Lew of Walnut will compete in “Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off” on Food Network

Sean Lew of Walnut loves to dance and cook. The 12-year-old already has a million YouTube views of his video dancing to a Lady GaGa song. And now millions more will watch the young chef compete in the season premiere of “Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off.”

The new season premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. on the Food Network. If you don’t already know, the marquee names refer to best-selling cookbook authors Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri.

The famous chefs will once again take eight young chefs under their wings in the second season of “Kids Cook-Off.” And this year, Walnut’s very own junior chef will join Guy’s team.

“I already act and dance, so this was another challenge for me,” Sean said. “I wanted to learn how to cook after watching the chefs at Benihana in Industry cook right in front of me.”

So the home-schooled eighth-grader began cooking at the age of 7. He began with omelets. Sean now cooks at least twice a week for his family in Walnut.

Mom Miya says her son has never taken a cooking class. In fact, the local artist told her son “If you want to learn how to cook, you have to do it yourself.”

The young chef has learned enough to earn himself a spot in the kids’ cooking competition.

“It was a lot of fun, cooking in the kitchen with Guy,” Sean said. “He really gets you to focus and was always by our side.”

Six episodes were shot over three weeks in Huntington Beach. The show begins with a mini-challenge, where the young chefs had to make a family favorite. Sean made a deep-fried eggplant and pork sandwich.

Then it was on to the main event, a street food showdown judged by chef Wolfgang Puck and his family. This challenge celebrated the mobile food trucks rolling into the culinary world. For his entree, the Walnut chef went with a shrimp and seafood pancake.

For more, read Rich Irwin’s story CHEF.