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Suavé provides evening full of smooth music

Suavé provides evening full of smooth music

Posted on 06 July 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Alondra Urizar
La Habra Journal

The event was not set to start until 7 p.m. but by 6:30 p.m., nearly half the attendees had already filled half the grassy area El Centro-Lions Park provided for La Habra’s Summer Concert Series on Thursday, June 29.

People filled the field and the stage was set for the 10-piece Latin band, Suavé to play at El Centro-Lions Park for La Habra’s Summer Concert Series last Thursday.

The band formed in 1998 by Rene Burguan, who plays the trumpet and congas, and includes members from Los Angeles area. Even though lead singer Veronica Carrillos only just joined the band six months ago, they all gelled and played well because of their deep history and connection in music.

“I used to play with another band at Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet and that’s kind of like a hub for all of the local bands. Just networking, I went and saw them one Sunday and liked their style. So here I am,” Carrillos said.

Carrillos has performed at other Concerts in the Park for approximately eight years and finds music is a way to talk to the crowd in a different way.

“This is actually my first time here in La Habra but I’ve done concerts in the park before for other places like Norwalk or Whittier,” Carrillos said. “Music is healing. It also a language that unites people so I think it’s very important… It’s awesome. Music reaches people [in the way] that nothing else can. And that’s what we love about playing music. That we can reach people that otherwise could not be reached.”

Attendees were well fed from Calvary Chapel, La Habra High School Cheer and El Governador who gave different options such as nachos, popcorn, cookies, cupcakes, tacos and burritos.

Attendees, both young and old, moved, danced and enjoyed Latin favorites and oldies music.

The Miss La Habra queen and princesses went around asking the audience to participate in the La Habra Host Lions Club raffle for a 1965 Ford Mustang with proceeds going to several programs within La Habra such as the La Habra Boys and Girls Club, Help for Brain Injured Children, the youth center, senior citizen programs and many more.

Suavé entertained the crowd all the way to 10 p.m.

The Summer concert series is taking this week off due to the city’s Fourth of July celebration, but will return next week at the La Habra Marketplace at 7 p.m. with The Answer as the featured band.

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New principal hired at Macy Elementary School

New principal hired at Macy Elementary School

Posted on 05 July 2017 by La Habra Journal

David Shun was hired as the new principal of Macy Elementary School after being approved by the Lowell Joint School District on June 26.

David Shun

“David is an excellent candidate for Macy Elementary School, as he brings an outstanding background in educational technology, a passion for students, and a heart for the Macy family,” said Jim Coombs, superintendent of LJSD.
Shun has 19 years of experience in education and most recently served as the Assistant Principal at Lampson Elementary School for the past two years in Orange Unified School District. He began his career as an elementary school teacher at San Marino Elementary School in Centralia School District in 1998.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California at Irvine and a master’s in educational technology leadership from UCI.
“I am committed to developing, supporting, and inspiring an expert team who will cultivate student academic achievement,” Shun said. “As an effective leader, I will be committed to our school’s success in order to translate our instructional practice to meet the needs of students to have 21st century college and career skills because education provides opportunity and career mobility.”
Shun lives in Anaheim with his wife and 3-year-old daughter. He will begin as principal on July 31.

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LH looking for new location for annual fireworks show

LH looking for new location for annual fireworks show

Posted on 03 July 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Taylor Engle
La Habra Journal

One of the many annual La Habra traditions is the Fourth of July firework show, which occurred Tuesday. However, for the first time in years, 2018 is up in the air when it comes to location.

While the event typically takes place at the La Habra High School football stadium, the school’s plans to completely reconstruct the area disrupts that possibility.
“We’re still in the planning stages. The stadium is just one element of the community event,” said Recreation Manager David De Leon.
The Measure I Bond, passed in 2014, approved reconstruction projects at all Fullerton Joint Union High School District campuses.
New developments at LHHS include a new performing arts center, updates to science classrooms and kitchen facilities and the redesign of the football stadium. There are plans for a new concession stand, bathrooms, and team rooms underneath the stands.
The city is toying with the idea of hosting the event at La Bonita Park. The event would take up fields 2 and 3 and would actually be more square feet than the stadium is.
2018 hopes to have room for the usual Fourth of July events. There would still be music, a stage and room for children to play games. However, the additional space would open up more options for the food vendors.
“If anyone in the community has any suggestions for where to have the event, we’d love to hear,” De Leon said.
The main concern with the event location is the need for a fallout zone. De Leon said there isn’t a lot of space in La Habra that can host fireworks.
“When you combine the rockets with the wind, there’s a certain amount of debris,” De Leon said. “There aren’t many other locations where fireworks can be launched. If we did it at La Bonita, we would be able to use the same launch area.”
The city also plans for the firework show to be different and more exciting than usual. “We really just want to have a fun event for the city,” De Leon said.

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La Habra Relay walks to blast cancer away

La Habra Relay walks to blast cancer away

Posted on 26 June 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Alondra Urizar
La Habra Journal

In an effort to help fight cancer, celebrate survivors and offer support, 19 volunteers and 26 teams from La Habra hosted the 24-hour long Relay for Life at La Habra High School.

Ernie Gonzalez/La Habra Journal
Walking for Remembrance: Members of Team JoeAnn were on hand at La Habra’s Relay for Life event last month at La Habra High School.

The event, which lasted from June 24 to 25, helped raise money and awareness. Together, the community of La Habra raised $20,675.79 donated to the American Cancer Society.
Members of La Habra and surrounding cities came out to participate and show support under the theme “Blast Cancer Out Of This World!”
Sponsors and volunteers joined in to help support and set up the event, which moved from Imperial Middle School to La Habra High School this year.
The different teams were placed on the inside of the track field at La Habra High School with tents set up to escape the summer heat.
Each team offered different ways for attendees to show their support by buying food, drink, raffle tickets and items promoting increased cancer awareness.
According to a study done by the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2016 alone. According to the study, some of the most common cases i

Ernie Gonzalez/La Habra Journal
Survivor story: Andrea Trujillo, seated, captained Andrea’s Angels at the Relay for Life in La Habra. Trujillo has battled five different cancers.

n 2016 were breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer and prostate cancer with the number expected to reach almost 19 million by 2024.
The relay gave many the opportunity to remember the loved ones they lost in the battle against cancer.
Lisa Quintero captain of Team JoeAnn and Luminaria co-lead has attended the Relay for Life for the past six years to support her best friend who lost her daughter, JoeAnn. It was in memory of her that they created Team JoeAnn.
“Until you really see it, you don’t understand what [cancer] really is. So, after seeing [JoeAnn] go through all of that, that made us want to get more involved and help and give back,” Quintero said.

La Habra’s Andrea Trujillo, captain of Andrea’s Angels, as well as the event co-lead, is a survivor.
Trujillo survived not one but five different cancers. For three years, she was diagnosed with some type of cancer. Breast cancer in 1998, a brain tumor in 1999 and breast cancer again in 2000. She was diagnosed with a rare form of uterine cancer in 2007 and even most recently, skin cancer.
She has battled them all and has survived.
Because of this, she believes she has guardians watching over her.
“I know I have angels with me all the time because of stuff I’ve been through – they’re there for me,” Trujillo said. “That’s why Andrea’s Angels is the name of my booth.”
Planning for next year’s event is already under way.

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LHPD to install body cameras

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LHPD to install body cameras

Posted on 22 June 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Alondra Urizar
La Habra Journal

The La Habra Police Department’s efforts finally paid off.
After actively pursuing wearable body cameras since early 2016, the department acquired a five-year $375,000 agreement with Axon, and LHPD officers are starting to be equipped with them, with a complete implementation of the department by late July or early August.
The idea came after seeing how well Rialto did with their body cameras, the LHPD began watching and considering body cameras.
“We heard about Rialto and how they had some success with the body worn cameras and things have gone well,” Price said. “We just started the process of looking at the cameras, looking at what the pros and cons are, whether or not it’s going to work for us here [in La Habra] or not.”
The La Habra Police Department now joins other law enforcement agencies in Orange County in embracing body cameras such as Anaheim, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Tustin and Cal State Fullerton.
After testing several body cameras, Price approached the La Habra City Council with their agreement with Axon.
The Council unanimously approved the agreement back in early February 2017.
In early June, the department equipped one smaller patrol team to begin working with the cameras, having the team implementing them in their daily routines. Through the first team, the police department aims to work out any imperfections and make improvements before having the team train the other members of the police department.

The LHPD will also have an Axon representative come the following week and show them how to use the device properly.
Captain Dean Capelletti of the La Habra Police Department knows how important it is to be transparent with the community.
He wants his officers to feel comfortable using the body cameras and realize the benefit they are to both the department and the community of La Habra.
Capelletti said Axiom is going to train them and answer any questions the officers may have.
“We’ll continue with the implementation,” Capelletti said. “It’s totally something new for the officers and we want to make sure that they know how to operate it and feel comfortable with it.”
The agreement for the LHPD comes with three camera improvements, body cameras and storage of digital memory and a warranty, should any accidents happen to the equipment.
In the past, law enforcement agencies have relied on audio recordings and dashboard cameras in patrol cars.
However, with recent calls for accountability of law enforcement agencies, many have chosen to provide their departments with body cameras to provide transparency to the public.
The LHPD has expressed great excitement in implementing the body cameras.
“I’m very excited about putting them out there,” Capelletti said. “I believe we have a nice relationship with our community and I think this is just another area that we can show them we truly are a transparent police department and we have nothing to hide.”

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Heights kicks off summer festival series

Heights kicks off summer festival series

Posted on 22 June 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Alondra Urizar
La Habra Journal

The skies of La Habra Height filled with music from the Journey tribute band, DSB, as they kicked off the 30th annual Music in the Park at Hacienda Park last week.

Alondra Urizar/La Habra Journal
Rockin’: DSB, a Journey tribute band, performs at The Park on Hacienda Boulevard, opening the La Habra Heights summer concert series.

Approximately 300 community members attended the first summer concert event with a smorgasbord of food and snacks like ice cream, coffee, shaved ice, popcorn, kettle corn, tacos, burritos and aguas frescas from vendors such as Kermit’s Ice Cream Express, Simply Irresistible Cakes & Catering and the Highland Riders.
Each week, the park will be serenaded by a different local band such as Cold Duck, Wiseguys Big Band Machine, Woodie & The Long Boards, The Silverados, The Answer to Classic Rock, Smooth Sounds of Santana and Stones vs Stewarts every Wednesday until Aug. 2 and is sponsored by the Ray Fernandez Team.
“I’ve been doing this for four years and it’s a lot of fun to be out here and meet everybody,” said Ray Fernandez, realtor and associate broker of the Ray Fernandez Team.“I know it takes a lot of money to get these bands here and just like we’re giving back to charity here for the sales, this is another way of giving back [to the community].”
During the concert, Fernandez announced that a portion of the profits would be donated to charity for every house sold by their team this year. Their goal is to donate a total of $50,000 by the end of this year. Money earned would be donated to local charities.
The importance of community events is not lost on residents or vendors alike.
Vendor Alex Main of Simply Irresistible Cakes & Catering has personally attended Music in the Park for the past five years, enjoying how the community will gather together during the summer for an evening of enjoyment and relaxation.
“I think any event – concerts in this park especially, provide people with a place to get together, hear some good music,” he said. “Thanks to our great sponsorships, they’ve been able to keep it free and I think it brings the community together and it gives them an opportunity to kind of relax and enjoy and it’s one of the few cities that still does it [host free events].”
Concerts continue in the park every Wednesday night through August 2.

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Two friends and their commitment to La Habra

Two friends and their commitment to La Habra

Posted on 22 June 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Taylor Engle
La Habra Journal

Almost everyone who went to La Habra High School can recall the level of care that exudes from the staff. The school prides itself on catering to the community, and two of its hardest working members just served their last year on board.

Photo courtesy Mary Lou Dorado Highlander friends: Mary Lou Dorado and Jeanne Simonian have dedicated a combined 77 years serving and helping students at La Habra High School. The two retired last month.

Together, Mary Lou Dorado and Jeanne Simonian (known by faculty as “Sweet Mary Lou” and “Mean Jeanne”) served La Habra High School for over 77 years. These women have been there to witness teenagers go from students to adults to even faculty members and feel they have contributed to their students in their most formative years.
“When we run into [students] as adults in the community, we see the impact we had,” Dorado said.
Dorado, an LHHS alumni, served as a data systems technician, working with report cards, schedules, teacher rosters and student records.
Dorado fell into her position at La Habra High School while she was attending Fullerton College. She was initially supposed to be a part-time attendance counter, but the person she was covering for never came back, causing Dorado never to leave.
“I grew up there. Not only was I a student there, but…I wasn’t even 21 when I started. I got engaged, I got married, I had children, and now my granddaughter, all while I was employed there. So it’s been a big part of my life,” Dorado said.
Over her 45 years at La Habra High School, Dorado witnessed students live out their lives. “The kids that were the ‘troublemakers’ in their time come back and see me as the most dedicated parents to their kids. We’ve seen students dating, getting engaged, getting married, having children, and pursuing their careers,” Dorado said.
Simonian had an equally intimate experience at La Habra High School. She served as senior records, but “if you ask us what our title was, it’s your mother, your sister, your friend, your janitor, your nurse, or an open ear to listen when someone has a problem or an excitement,” Simonian said. “When I have something exciting happen to me, I want to share it with [Mary Lou] first, but not everyone has that.”
Simonian and Dorado met when Simonian began working at LHHS 32 years ago and have been close friends ever since. “She has a sister and I don’t, so I made her my sister,” Simonian said.
The two women first took their friendship outside of the office with Friday night football games. Every Friday, their families knew they were on their own because Simonian and Dorado would start selling tickets about 4 p.m. and wouldn’t be finished until 11 p.m. or midnight.
Their dedication to the school stems from their honest belief that there is something special about La Habra High School.
“When I first started working here, La Habra was known as a gang school,” Dorado said. “But the kids that were the ‘troublemakers’ or the ‘gang members’ one on one were the sweetest people, and I still connect with a lot of them. I still see them and for some of them, generation after generation comes to La Habra. They’re good kids.”
Simonian and Dorado continue to stick up for La Habra High even in retirement, making sure that the school gets as equal coverage in the community as Sonora. It’s the faculty and student pride that makes the school feel special to these women.
“Teachers give up their lunch times and stay after school. They have a real concern and passion for their job. They don’t just care about the book learning; they care about the students and the person and their growth,” Dorado said.
Simonian believes that it’s the dedication of the teachers that makes students want to strive and makes the rest of the faculty want to do a good job. “These are teachers whose hearts are to teach the kids. Their hearts are with the kids to care for them and to actually guide them,” Simonian said.
Among the long-lasting friendships and good memories, the job taught Dorado and Simonian more about their students than they would have imagined.
“I had a nice upbringing, but to see how many kids in high school come from such dysfunctional environments and just getting to school is a job…I didn’t even know that existed. Those are the kids that you want to make sure know they have support and are a valuable human being,” Dorado said.
“I think that’s what bonded us together so much,” Simonian added. “It wasn’t a job after a while; it was more than that. It was part of life.”
Although the friends are retired, their impact in the La Habra community is nowhere near finished. They continue to be recognized by parents, students, and faculty everywhere they go and are able to see their hard work in real life.
“I ran into a student at Sprouts the other day and she talked to me for about thirty minutes about how well she’s doing,” Simonian said with a wistful smile. “It’s always nice to see we had some kind of impact.”
For retirement, Simonian and Dorado plan to rekindle friendships with people they’ve bonded with throughout the years, enjoy the feeling of not being rushed, and spend a lot of time with Dorado’s (and Simonian’s honorary) new granddaughter.
“We’ll still be at those football games though,” Simonian said.
Dorado laughed in agreement. “And we’ll always stick up for La Habra!”

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LH students win national cooking contest

LH students win national cooking contest

Posted on 22 June 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

Courtesy Healthy Schools Campaign Top Chefs: Isabella Moreno, Yasmin Marquez and Carlos Marquez won the national cooking competition in Washington DC on June 12.

Three La Habra culinary students went to Washington DC and left victorious.
Isabella Moreno, Yasmin Marquez and Carlos Marquez headed to the nation’s capital with La Habra High School Culinary Instructor Mario Schwarz-Cole on June 12 to take part in the national finals of Cooking Up Change Challenge.
The three recent La Habra High School graduates took the national award with their Chicken Kashmir dish and sides of Pepino Curry and Tropical Kheer.
The students won the regional competition on May 30 with the same Indian-Mexican dish.
According to the Healthy Schools Campaign, the contest challenges high school culinary students to create healthy, great-tasting meals that meet the real-life requirements of the national school meal program.
The team went to Washington where they competed against 19 other students from around the country, who were part of the six other regional winning teams.
The meals were judged on their originality, taste, texture and appearance. Teams scored additional points for the quality of their presentation to the judging panel.
Audrey Rowe, a former administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, served as one of the judges enjoyed the La Habra students.
“I was impressed that they took a bold approach to create a school entree students would enjoy,” she said in a statement. “They presented well and deserved to be winners.”
Yasmin and Carlos Marquez are planning on attending Orange Coast College in the fall to study culinary arts. Moreno, set to attend Mt. San Antonio College, is still undecided on her major, but said she plans on continuing to cook.

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LHCSD names two new  principals

LHCSD names two new principals

Posted on 01 June 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

Some administration changes are taking place at the La Habra City School District.

Sharon Hensley

Sharon Hensley has been hired as the new principal at Las Positas Elementary School. She is replacing Mike Klewer, who retired this year after nearly 30 years in education.

Hensley was assistant principal for instruction at Buena Park High School and has served as a teacher at all grade levels. She was also a high school counselor.
According to the LHCSD, Hensley has witnessed the power of teamwork and the impact it has on a school community throughout her career and is looking forward to working together with students, teachers, school staff, parents, and members of the community
In addition, the LHCSD promoted Dr. Mario Carlos to director of communications and special programs. Carlos, who was principal of Washington Middle School, will be working closely with district administration to meet the needs of students in the La Habra City School District.

Dr. Mario Carlos and Dr. George Lopez

To replace Carlos, Dr. George Lopez was appointed to be the principal of Washington Middle School. Lopez had been the principal of Ladera Palma Elementary School for the last three years. Prior to that, he was vice principal at Washington Middle School where he worked with Carlos.
According to the district, a process has been initiated to select the new principal for Ladera Palma. They are looking to involve parents, teachers, and staff in the process, and a principal will be in place for the next school year.

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La Habra teen reaches the finale of NBC's  talent show 'The Voice'

La Habra teen reaches the finale of NBC’s talent show ‘The Voice’

Posted on 01 June 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Leon Romero
La Habra Journal

The youngest finalist to ever grace the stage of NBC’s “The Voice” grew up in La Habra, and was attending La Habra High School before she left to Los Angeles to compete in the nation’s most watched televised singing competition.
Fifteen-year old La Habra resident Aliyah Moulden impressed the celebrity judges with her striking rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” during the initial blind auditions.

THE VOICE — “Live Finale” Episode 1219A — Pictured: Aaliyah Moulden — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

She chose to join team Blake Shelton over Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani’s teams, and ended up placing third amongst the thousands of musicians who auditioned.
Moulden was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and eventually moved to La Habra with her family when she was a year old.
Her family noticed she began singing at a very young age, so her mother signed her up for singing lessons at the age of seven. In order to improve as a performer Moulden would perform for several local events including the La Habra Corn Festival and various La Habra Boys and Girls Club events. She’s been an active member of the La Habra Boys and Girls Club since she joined when she was five years old.
“My experience on The Voice was life changing. It was a lot of work, but my coach Blake really helped me through my confidence issues and he let me try everything,” said Moulden. “I’m so thankful that people watched and sent me so much love.”
The producers of the show contacted Moulden’s mother, Martha Jimenez, after viewing her daughter’s cover of Adele’s “When We Were Young” on her YouTube page. It was her first time auditioning for the show.
Throughout her journey on The Voice, Moulden had the opportunity to perform with various high profile musicians including Alessia Cara and her coach Blake Shelton. She also released her very own single “Never Be Lonely” along with a music video towards the end of the season.
“I thought it was a wonderful opportunity for her to participate in,” said Jimenez. “When it started we all knew it would open up doors for her.”
Moulden mentioned that she would love to return to La Habra High School and walk with her class her senior year, but in the mean time she’s been staying on top of her studies through La Sierra’s online academy.
Moulden admitted that her favorite performance of the season was when she sang UK artist Duffy’s song “Mercy” during the playoff performances, because it’s one of her favorite songs to sing and she really wanted to make it into the top 12.

THE VOICE — “Live Finale” Episode 1219A — Pictured: (l-r) Blake Shelton, Aliyah Moulden — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

She mentioned that she recalls practicing the song everywhere she went and would take cough drops so that she wouldn’t lose her voice.
“I never thought of all this as being on a television show,” said Moulden. “I thought of it more as a performance.”
Former La Habra mayor and city councilman James Gomez was so proud of Moulden for making it to the competition’s finale that he arranged two “The Voice” viewing parties. The first one was held at the restaurant Señor Campos, and the final episode viewing party was held at the La Habra Boys and Girls Club.
“Our entire community is so proud of her,” said Gomez. “We were all rooting for her until the very end.”
Moulden is currently in the process of recording her next single in the studio, and said it should be released within the next couple of months.
If you’d like to support her journey through the music industry, make sure to visit her official website: aliyahmoulden.com, and follow her Instagram and Twitter accounts where she can be found at
@AliyahMoulden.

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