Archive | February, 2013

LHH Council candidates address future, focus of the Heights

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Daniel Hernandez
La Habra Journal

Candidates forum:  The five individuals who are running for the three open La Habra Heights City Council seats answered questions at  a town hall forum presented by the League of Women Voters last week.

Candidates forum: The five individuals who are running for the three open La Habra Heights City Council seats answered questions at a town hall forum presented by the League of Women Voters last week.


Residents of La Habra Heights took advantage of a public forum held by the League of Women Voters Tuesday evening, asking key questions to dissect the ideas and personality of city council candidates who are campaigning for three seats this March.

The forum, which utilized written questions submitted from the audience, took place in the city’s council chambers, where a crowd of about 90 residents gathered to absorb the candidates’ responses to issues ranging from revenue spending to local government transparency.

Although apparent grumblings could be heard throughout the chambers, the discussion between candidates remained at a civil tone, alleviating some of the anxieties that moderator Margo Reeg anticipated on enduring from her experience in previous meetings.

La Habra Heights City Council Candidate Georege Edwards answers questions at a town hall forum held last week by the League of Women Voters.

La Habra Heights City Council Candidate Georege Edwards answers questions at a town hall forum held last week by the League of Women Voters.


“Considering what we know about some of the people, I thought the decorum was quite good,” Reeg, president of the Whittier League of Women Voters, said. “There was at least one person here who sometimes can ruffle feathers, and I thought that he actually kept his cool pretty well.”

Drawing the ire of incumbent Brian Bergman, candidate George Edwards insists that the city not waste valuable resources on city buildings and instead allocate money towards amenities like roads and public safety.

La Habra Heights City Council Candidate Brian Bergman answers questions at a town hall forum held last week by the League of Women Voters.

La Habra Heights City Council Candidate Brian Bergman answers questions at a town hall forum held last week by the League of Women Voters.


At times Bergman and city council candidate Kyle Miller called out what they acknowledged as untruthful statements spouted by Edwards.
But Edwards did not deter from accusing the city of wasteful spending and increasing taxation, and went as far as mentioning how his father, who he said was a Heights resident, warned him “about the community and its politics.”

“You got to love a community a lot if you’re willing to come up (and) put yourself out there all the time to be attacked … to protect your rights” Edwards said about how he speaks out on issues at council meetings.

La Habra Heights City Council Candidate Chester Jeng answers questions at a town hall forum held last week by the League of Women Voters.

La Habra Heights City Council Candidate Chester Jeng answers questions at a town hall forum held last week by the League of Women Voters.


City council candidate Chester Jeng, a La Habra dentist, managed to draw the attention of the audience when he suggested that, in order to mediate costs to repair the dilapidated streets, La Habra Heights request aid from the city down the road.

Residents from the Heights venture down to the Orange County city of La Habra often to spend money at its stores, he said.

Most of the candidates responded to inquiries considerably well, Reeg said, but acknowledged the difficulty of answering tough questions in a one-minute slot.

“Sometimes I admit I throw quite a bit at them for one minute, and by combining questions, sometimes they only get part of it answered,” Reeg noted.

La Habra Heights City Council Candidate Michael Higgins answers questions at a town hall forum held last week by the League of Women Voters.

La Habra Heights City Council Candidate Michael Higgins answers questions at a town hall forum held last week by the League of Women Voters.


Meant as an unbiased platform, the League of Women voters organized the event to bring all the council members together in a forum setting.

The League of Women Voters’ mission is to help inform citizens and aid them in participating to become involved with the community, Reeg, who is a Whittier resident, said.

Unlike the one man show displayed at last week’s forum held by The Coalition to Protect the General Plan, a group that works to protect the city’s rural environment, this forum included all five candidates running for three city council openings.

Edwards was the lone candidate to appear at that gathering last week, which many believe was geared to support the positions held by him.

The candidates who are campaigning for the open council positions are Michael Higgins, Kyle Miller, Chester Jeng, Brian Bergman and George Edwards.

La Habra Heights City Council Candidate Kyle Miller answers questions at a town hall forum held last week by the League of Women Voters.

La Habra Heights City Council Candidate Kyle Miller answers questions at a town hall forum held last week by the League of Women Voters.


La Habra Heights retired resident Nancy Acocks said she was introduced to a candidate she did not know and believed she made up her mind on the person she is voting for.

They displayed an accurate representation of their known personalities, she said.

“People who were negative were still negative. People who were positive were still positive.”
The election is March 5.

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Split Council approves city hall remodel

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

Seal_La Habra HeightsWith a 3-2 vote last Thursday, the La Habra Heights City Council approved utilizing some of the city’s reserve funds to pay for the renovation of city hall.

The renovation of the 60-year-old buildings is estimated to cost $1.9 million. It will add approximately 1,200 more square feet, making a total of nearly 6,500 sq ft.

Council members Jane Williams, Brian Bergman and Mayor Stan Carroll voted for the renovations, citing major safety issues currently in the buildings.

Carl Westerhoff and Roy Francis voted against it, stressing the need to wait for the new council to be elected on March 5.

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La Habra’s Adley celebrates her 102nd birthday

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

Birthday girl: Mary Adley surrounded by her great great granddaughter 5-year-old Nevaeh Belch (right) and Park Regency Activities Director Julie Rosenthal at her 102nd birthday party.

Birthday girl: Mary Adley surrounded by her great great granddaughter 5-year-old Nevaeh Belch (right) and Park Regency Activities Director Julie Rosenthal at her 102nd birthday party.

Surrounded by five generations of family and friends and listening to live music, Mary Adley celebrated her 102nd birthday at the Park Regency.

Adley remains active and exercises every day. Park Regency Activities Director Julie Rosenthal says that she doesn’t miss an activity.
The party was a Sock Hop theme and Adley was all smiles as lines of family and well wishers enjoyed the celebration.

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Gary Center receives $10,000 grant to help community

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

The Gary Center recently received a $10,000 grant from the S.L. Gimbel Foundation Advised Fund.
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The Grant is to help support of the Center’s supplemental food distribution program for La Habra residents.

This funding will help with the purchasing of foods like canned soups, veggies, fruits and meats, dried rice, beans and boxed cereal.
The Gary Center’s Food Distribution Program has helped struggling families meet immediate needs for food for the last 21 years.

Today the program serves approximately 175 families a week.

If you have a food need or would like to donate please contact us at gary@garycenter.org. For more information visit www.garycenter.org

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Volunteers of the year

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

Often organizations present a volunteer of the year award to outstanding individuals who give their time to help make something better. Looking around our community, there are hundreds of individuals giving their time and energy toward making something better. Now, not to seem cheesy or cliché when pointing out the efforts of volunteers, but we wouldn’t have a community without them.

Websters Dictionary defines volunteer as “a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service as one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest.”

So many people give of their time in all aspects of the community, from workers at church bake sales and Little League managers to PTA board members, city committee members and Girl Scout cookie organizers. It includes the family members who help out in an elementary school classroom all the way to city council members in La Habra Heights. It includes the members of the many service organizations in the community like Rotary, Elks, Moose and Lions.

Volunteers help with organizations like Advance, HBIC and Rosie’s Garage. They are the people who clean up, cut paper, organize, plan, oversee, mentor and guide and many other duties. They are of the community and give of themselves to help out. They do the jobs that need to get done, and often the jobs that most people don’t want to do. Even without experience, they are the ones who step up and commit to helping in whatever the task might be. They don’t do it for praise, they don’t do it for accolades, they don’t do it for money. They do it because they want to and that they believe in whatever the mission is. Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our community. They are what helps us grow as a community. These individuals deserve our thanks and appreciation. I only wish that there were more room to recognize them all in the pages of the Journal. I wish they could all be volunteers of the year.

This section of the La Habra Journal is set as a commentary. I have realized that I have been writing it more as an editorial. The editorial of a newspaper is the written view of the newspaper as a whole and therefore doesn’t have a byline of an individual who wrote it. This section of the Journal has always been a commentary. That means it reflects the views of the person writing it and therefore deserves a byline to say who wrote it. We will begin including the byline of the person who writes it. My hope is to allow for other members of the staff to express themselves in topics related and of interest to the community. The majority will still be written by me, but the opportunity to hear from the rest of the LHJ team is there. As always, I thank you for your time in reading this and for your support of the only independent community newspaper covering La Habra and La Habra Heights.
—The Editor

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LH Rotary recognizes spirit

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jane Williams
For the La Habra Journal

We’ve got spirit: The La Habra Rotary Club presented awards for school spirit to Rachel Plattz (left) from Whittier Christian, Daniel Rodriguez from Sonora and La Habra High’s Maddie Pothero.

We’ve got spirit: The La Habra Rotary Club presented awards for school spirit to Rachel Plattz (left) from Whittier Christian, Daniel Rodriguez from Sonora and La Habra High’s Maddie Pothero.


The La Habra Rotary Club recognized students from area high schools who show a great deal of school spirit through their activities and enthusiasm.

Rachel Plattz is Whittier Christian High’s top contributor to school spirit as a member and captain of the Varsity Cheer squad. Rachel has also been the leader of the varsity cheer competition team for the past two years.

Known as a hardworking student who never gives up, she allows faculty members to know any job entrusted to her will be taken care of appropriately. In addition she found the time to earn the Girl Scouts of America Gold Award, an accomplishment equivalent to the better known Eagle Scout award.

Daniel Rodriguez is president of Sonora’s senior class and is spending his first year in ASB. That meant Daniel spent much of the summer and fall learning how the organization operates and what he needs to do to collaborate with its officers and accomplish the goals he has for the Class of 2013’s senior year. Daniel worked on Homecoming and Sonora’s epic Food Drive, and is currently setting up Sonora’s first stag dance.

He has been an Impact Mentor and is now an Impact Leader. He coached his brother’s Pop Warner Football team and works as a sales associate at JC Penney’s. He hopes to attend Cal State Channel Islands or the University of the Pacific.

Maddie (Madeleine) Pothero made the La Habra High song team as a freshman and became its captain her sophomore year. Then she moved up to the Varsity Song squad and again was named captain, a position she still holds as a senior.

In her junior year she joined ASB and this year is the ASB Spirit Leader. In addition she has worked for Meals on Wheels, and volunteered at the Interfaith Food Center. She is a member of National Charity League and has helped with Operation Santa.

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Lions Club hosts high school speaking competiton

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

Mohammad Raza, a junior at Sonora High School, took first prize in the La Habra Lion’s Club speech contest, last Tuesday at Westridge Country Club.

The annual contest brings local high school students together to compete in public speaking about a set topic. This year’s topic was “How do we create and keep jobs in America.”

Raza showed an extreme confidence in his speech, that he said comes from his time with the Speech and Debate Club at Sonora. In his speech, he argued that a lot of money can be filtered into the economy by bolstering tourism.

Raza was the only junior in the competition. The other two competitors were Seniors Katherine Rojas, from La Habra High School, and Hope Ludwinski from Troy High School.

“I think the event was great tonight,” said Lion’s Club President, John Creed. “It was great to see these kids stand up in front of all these people and give these speeches.”

Club member Karen Beele was in charge of the event and brought it all together.

“We had some talented and intelligent speakers, who have some incredible goals for their lives,” Beele said.

Ludwinski was the first contestant to speak. The 18-year-old senior hopes to attend Tufts University and study engineering.
Raza went second. The 16-year-old is very active at Sonora. He is the president of the Speech and Debate Club, involved with National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Fund.

Raza would like to attend MIT, University of Pennsylvania or UC Berkeley and major in business.

Rojas mentioned a few different career paths that she would like, but said that her first choice would be to become an SVU detective.

“I would like to attend St. John’s University and study forensics and criminal justice,” said Rojas.
Raza received $75 for winning, and Rojas and Ludwinski received $25 each.

Raza now moves on to the next leg of the competition, which could turn into a national event for him.

The next event will take place in Brea, on March 12, and will consist of winners from three or four different clubs.

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WCHS students create competition to end hunger

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
Change__Tease
Inspired to make a difference in the world, Whittier Christian Senior Shaun Crammer thought about what he could do. He remembered something that was done when he attended junior high school at Heights Christian School, and thought that, if adjusted, could possibly become something big.

So the idea for what would become the Schools for Change program was created.

Crammer’s plan initially was a school-wide competition to raise money for World Vision, an international organization to help eliminate world hunger.

The concept of the competition is simple. Be the first to raise the most change for world hunger in a set amount of time. However, what is a competition without a challenge?

As WCHS Christian Service Coordinator Mike Posey explained, the idea is to earn points through the collection of coins. However, bills will give you “minus points.”

“Coins earn you plus points,” Posey explained. “For every dollar your classroom receives you get a plus point. For every dollar you receive in bills, you receive a minus point.”

This allows for teachers to be creative and develop strategies in order to help raise the money. It also adds to the excitement of the competition.

“Some teachers are teaming up with others saying ‘I won’t buck bomb you if you don’t do it to me,’ other teachers are developing their own strategies,” Posey explained.

Crammer explained how Posey’s class was victim of a “buck bomb.”

“The other day Mr. Posey had $9.40 in his bucket, but he earned negative-one point because he had a 5-dollar bill in there,” Cramer explained. “It was the third most amount collected that day, but he was tied for last.”

The campus at Whittier Christian has really gotten into it and have supported the cause.

“This is probably the most positive feedback I’ve heard about any service project,” explained Christopher Gohl, another senior who has been helping Crammer put the program into action. “Everyone is excited. The teachers are getting into it. You go into their classrooms and they have plans written out on their boards.”

With the campus interested in the idea, Crammer thought why stop there? He saw that it was something that could be bigger.

“I thought why not do a competition to help end world hunger, then I thought why not take it a step further and include the whole school,” Crammer said. “Then I thought why not take it even another step further and include the three high schools.”
What started as a classroom competition is now, with La Habra High School’s involvement, becoming a city-wide high school event. Sonora High School was also invited to participate, but was unable to do so.

La Habra’s students came up with the competition’s title “Schools for Change”

So, the students are now competing within their respective campuses and then with each other to raise the most money in the competition.

At first look, there might be some concern about the size difference between the campuses. Whittier Christian’s 600 students is only a fraction to that of La Habra’s 2,000-plus enrollment.

“If every student on our campus gave $10, we would have $6,000 roughly from our school,” Posey explained. “Obviously, La Habra is a far larger school.”

He explained that some of the math faculty are devising a formula to make it more equal.

Posey explained that he is hoping to meet with La Habra Mayor Rose Espinoza to plan on the possibility of her presenting some kind of award to the winning school. Posey and Crammer would like to see this turn into an annual event among all three campuses in the city.
Posey sees the potential for alumni and outside supporters of the various campuses getting involved and donating change to help the schools win.

In the end, Posey explained, the goal is to help end world hunger and make the world a better place.
The competition started February 13 and runs through March 6. That’s when all the money will be tabulated and winners will be announced.

Crammer said he hasn’t really stopped to look at how this idea has grown, but admits that “it’s cool to see it actually working.”
Joy Karavedas, dean of student activities at Whittier Christian acknowledged all of the work that Crammer and Gohl have put into setting the competition up.

“It shows that a couple of people can affect not only your own community but also the world,” she said. “That’s how it starts.”

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Martin “Marty” Burch, 62; La Habra icon, fisherman and family man

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

Marty B_1
La Habra lost the patriarch to one of its iconic families. Martin “Marty” Burch passed away January 15 with his family by his side. He was 62.

Born in Whittier and raised in La Habra, Marty was the owner and operator of Burch Ford, the family business, up until it closed in 2009.

His parents, William “Bill” and Margaret Burch, and grandparents were in the car business as well. His family has been into transportation and instrumental in the development of La Habra. They can trace their roots back to horse traders in the Midwest.

Prior to taking over the business, Marty graduated from La Habra High School as a member of the class of 1968.
He studied business law and administration at California State University, Fullerton.

He married Juanita Marie Gil. Juanita passed away from a pre-existing illness six weeks before Marty’s death.

After the dealership closed, Marty started Arizona Green Energy. He was active in the community and was a member of many local service clubs. He was part of the Elks Lodge, the Lions Club, and a member of the La Habra Rotary Club.

He had a passion for the outdoors. He had a love for woodworking, his firearms and for fishing. He loved fishing so much that he and a few friends started a fishing club called “Team Borracho’s.”
Marty_3
He enjoyed his passions and loved spending time with his friends and family most of all.

Marty is survived by his four children, Eileen, Francine, Jonathon and William; three grandchildren, Jessica, Dylan and Landon; one great grandchild, James; his mother, Margaret Burch; and sister, Catherine Gage.
The funeral was held January 26.

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Preston Gannon: Ruling the mat for the Raiders

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal
Ganon_POTW
In any sport, preparation and practice make a lot of difference when it comes to finding success, but when that preparation is focused on one person, it can become that much more intense.

Sonora wrestler Preston Gannon takes pride in the amount of dedication and preparation he puts in before each and every match and he earned his second consecutive Freeway League championship at 132 pounds in the Freeway League finals, Feb. 2.

The senior defeated Fullerton’s Jose Goena 10-4 in the semis before defeating Sunny Hills’ Tommy Valenzuela in the finals by a score of 5-3.
However, Valenzuela was also a defending league champion, but he dropped down two weight classes before this season, which made Preston’s win even more impressive.

“I had no idea what to expect in the finals because my opponent stepped down from 140s,” Gannon said. “I thought it would be over quickly and I gave him the upper hand, but when we went to shake hands…I told myself I was capable of winning and that I wasn’t going to give up or give in to the demons inside my head.”

Gannon’s coach, Dave Carrizosa said that Preston’s ability to motivate himself was a key factor in his Freeway League championship.
The coach also said that he noticed Preston’s inner frustration after his first match against Goena.

“It was after the first match, where he pulled off a close victory against [Goena],” Carrizosa said of the point he knew Preston would have a good day. “I saw him talking to himself because he didn’t wrestle as hard as he did and I knew because of that he was going to be tough to beat in the finals. He definitely motivates himself, there’s no need to push him, he has his own little bubble.”

Preston said the reason for that frustration and, perhaps unusual performance, were a result of an expectation to face off against senior Carlos Olmos from Buena Park, who Preston said was dropped a weight class to try to win the league title from him.

Individual focus, preparation and intense training, both physical and mental, are factors that lead to Preston’s success on the mat.
The senior said that the help of first-year assistant coach Chris Chambers only helped to strengthen those qualities.

“He was a Division 1 athlete and I had never really known intensive drilling until he came in,” Preston said. He showed me what it was like to be more like the top wrestlers and it really helped. He and [Ernie Hernandez] really motivated and inspired me in the room.”
On the team, Carrizosa describes Preston as a leader on and off the mat because of the example he sets.

According to the coach, before practices, Preston prepares himself by going on individual runs and he does extra work in order to make sure he’s prepared for the season.

However, with all that intense focus and training, like most athletes, Preston does find time every now and then to take a break. Perhaps not surprisingly, he uses another physical activity to unwind.

“I like riding my bike, it’s really fun and a way to clear my head,” he said. “I don’t have to impress anyone or compete, it’s just me going out and doing what I like to do, it’s a way of me being free.”

After wrestling season is complete, Preston will move to the pool, where he is a member of the diving team.
He cites Economics and Government as his favorite classes so far during his senior year.

“After this I do diving and I really enjoy it, he said. “I’m an ex-gymnast, so I do have fun diving too.”

But before he can head to the pool, the senior will do battle in CIF, where Carrizosa said his weight class is one of the toughest this year.
“I feel great about him going in,” Carrizosa said. “It’s going to be a tough bracket.”

Preston qualified for the CIF Southern Section Masters Tournament this weekend at Temecula Valley High School, and he said that he wants to hopefully make the State bracket.

“It’s definitely an overall goal to go on to Masters and State, but looking at it beyond the tournament could be stressful,” Preston said. “I just have to keep doing what I’ve always done, I can’t change anything because it might throw me off. I have to train for one match at a time and capitalize on what’s going to make me tired in order to fix it in practice.”

With the way he’s been able to overcome mental demons and the intensity of his training, opponents will have to put in extra work themselves if they want any chance at wrestling a victory from him.

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