Former Walnut woman convicted of killing husband and dog

A former Walnut woman was convicted Monday of stabbing to death her husband and the family dog.

A Pomona Superior Court jury on Monday found 46-year-old Socorro Mora guilty of the Oct. 19, 2011 second degree murder of 47-year-old George Mora, cruelty to an animal for killing Snowflake the dog and corporal injury to spouse for attacking her husband on Sept. 13, 2011.

The jurors deadlocked on the charge she tortured her estranged husband.

Mora faces more than 20 years to life in prison when she returns to court June 24.

Deputy District Attorney Taraneh Saba said she can’t say why Mora killed her husband.

“But there was a long history of her being jealous,” Saba said.

At one point, she said Mora thought her husband was having an affair with a co-worker but he wasn’t.

She said Mora called the co-worker who later quit. Mora also called the employer and pretended to be someone else in order to get the woman’s address. Saba said Mora got her husband fired from his job.

“She was totally obsessed,” Saba said.

There was evidence the couple were sleeping in separate rooms by September 2011, she said.

Mora attacked her husband on Sept. 13, 2011, scratched herself and claimed he did it. The prosecution said George Mora’s arms were scratched and bleeding. He later got a restraining order.

Read more in Ruby Gonzalez’s story MURDER

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

Walnut residents rue new parking structure at Mt SAC

Residents of Timberline came out Thursday night to protest Mount San Antonio College’s plans for a new $45 million parking structure across from their homes in Walnut.

The community college says the five-story garage will solve some of the parking problems at the bustling campus. Neighbors claim it will cause more traffic, crime and pollution.

Mt. SAC presented plans for a large parking garage with 2,200 parking spaces. The structure would be sited on the current 600-spot parking lot along Mountaineer Way at the north-west edge of the campus.

The proposal brought out the ire of homeowners across the street.

“We have been impacted by Mt. SAC’s quest to become the biggest community college in California. You keep adding, adding and adding students,” complained Linda Hiti.

Hiti said Mt. SAC students park in front of their homes on Granite Wells Drive, leaking oil and leaving their garbage.

“Walnut has been a good neighbor, but you keep growing to the detriment of the city,” Hiti concluded.

Mt. SAC President Bill Scroggins disagreed: “California is growing, growth is going to happen.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story PARKING.

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.

Incumbents Pacheco, Su win hard-fought Walnut City Council race

Incumbents Robert Pacheco and Mary Su swept to victory Tuesday night in one of the most contested and expensive races in city history.

Pacheco, 79, the elder statesman who served on the City Council and then in the state Assembly only to return to the city last year, and Su, 55, the eight-year incumbent and a leader in the Asian community, won by a wide margin.

In a victory speech at Pacheco/Su headquarters Tuesday night, the former assemblyman denounced the big spenders and an attempt to influence the Walnut election from Sacramento.

“We want to make this city grow and make it free of bad influences,” he began. “They tried to take us down and they failed big time! Walnut is ours! It is the people’s city.”

A relieved Su said: “I’m really thankful for the Walnut residents who still believe in me.”

The pair easily defeated challenger Betty Tang, 46, the president of the Chinese American Parents Association.

With all votes counted and two seats up for grabs, Pacheco was the lead vote-getter with 2,114 votes, Su had 2,095 votes and Tang trailed with 1,659. Write-in candidate Dino Jimmy Pollalis had 139 votes.

The Walnut City Council race could be one of the most expensive in San Gabriel Valley history, with three of the four candidates spending $275,000, campaign records show.

A boatload of campaign dollars from across Southern California fueled a flurry of negative campaigning in the form of attack mailers and nasty emails.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story ELECTION.

Assembly Republican leader apologizes for her involvement in Walnut City Council race

By Staff Writer Steve Scauzillo

The leader of the Republican Party in the state Assembly said her $5,000 contribution to a political action committee opposed to City Council candidate Mary Su was a mistake, according to Assemblyman Curt Hagman.

Assemblywoman Connie Conway, R-Visalia, who is running for state Senate, apologized to Su on Saturday after this news organization revealed Conway was one of only two contributors to the Long Beach-based Taxpayers For Quality Education, Su said.

Conway told Su and fellow Republicans in Sacramento that she thought the money would be used to fight SCA 5, a constitutional amendment that would reinstate affirmative action in public universities, according to Su and Hagman, R-Chino Hills.

“I know Connie. I talked to her and asked her straight up. She thought it was for another purpose,” Hagman said Monday during an exclusive interview. “She thought it was to oppose SCA 5.”

SCA 5 is a measure authored by West Covina Democrat state Sen. Ed Hernandez that would return affirmative action to school admission decisions. While the bill initially sailed through the state Senate, it faced opposition from more conservative Asian-American groups who feared its return would displace Chinese-American students.

Conway did not return several calls and messages Monday left on her cellphone.

Read more in SORRY

Walnut Valley Women’s Club installs garden of pinwheels to fight child abuse

In support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Walnut Valley Women’s Club planted a garden of pinwheels at Los Angeles County Fire Station 61 at the corner of Lemon Avenue and La Puente Road in Walnut on Saturday.

The garden was done by Project Manager Joe Hahn,  with help from Jerry Burgh and Ray Sevilla.

The pinwheels will remain throughout the month of April. “Pinwheels for Prevention,” is a program that promotes the message that “All children deserve an equal chance to thrive and grow.”

Walnut council candidate Betty Tang fights rumors and false accusations

BETTY TANG TO ADDRESS RUMORS AND FALSE ACCUSATIONS AT PRESS CONFERENCE

WHO: Betty Tang, Candidate for Walnut City Council.

WHEN: 11:00 AM Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WHERE: Betty Tang Campaign Headquarters
20837 Valley Blvd., Walnut CA 91789

CONTACT: Samuel Liu
(310) 989-3858
bettytangforwalnut@gmail.com

Candidate for Walnut City Council and first time challenger Betty Tang
will confront and address the vicious rumors and lies being spread through anonymous e-mails and news blogs. Betty Tang will address the plethora of rumors in a press conference at her campaign office located at 20837 Valley Blvd. Walnut, CA 91789.

Mt. SAC exhibits artwork of former professor in Walnut

The Mt. San Antonio College Art Gallery will present an exhibit featuring the artwork of former Mt. SAC art professor and art department chairperson Ron Ownbey, “From Mind Thru Hand: A 60-Year Retrospective,” which will run March 13 through April 17 at the campus Art Gallery. This exhibit is free and open to the public.

Sixty years in the making, “From Mind Thru Hand” showcases work that embodies a style described as “embracing the breadth of modern artistic practice.” This survey of Ownbey’s art provides an insight into the man who helped bring the Mt. SAC Art Department into the 21stCentury. Ownbey is credited for the introduction of digital media at the college.

A special opening reception will be held Thursday, March 13, 4 to 6 p.m., in the Art Gallery. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays,11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday nights, 5 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, call the Art Gallery at (909) 274-4328 or visit the gallery’s website at www.mtsac.edu/artgallery.