Archive | March, 2013

Lady Highlanders route Heralds

Posted on 21 March 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

The wind up: Senior starter Vanessa Ciocatto (6-3) pitched a complete game and gave up only two hits in the Lady Highlander’s shutout against Whittier Christian on Tuesday.

The wind up: Senior starter Vanessa Ciocatto (6-3) pitched a complete game and gave up only two hits in the Lady Highlander’s shutout against Whittier Christian on Tuesday.

For the second consecutive year, the La Habra softball team notched a victory over Whittier Christian, this time a 7-0 victory at Whittier Christian High.

While the Lady Highlanders put the game away with a four-run top of the 7th inning, La Habra pitcher Vanessa Ciocatto shut down the Lady Heralds, allowing just two hits in a complete game win.

The senior pitcher also struck out seven batters to pick up her sixth victory of the season.

La Habra (7-4) put up one run to take the lead in the top of the first inning, but the Lady Highlanders were quieted as well until the sixth inning when they posted a pair of runs to lead 3-0 going into the final frame.

Amanda Akles led the offensive charge, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a double while driving in four runs.
Not to be outdone, Racquel Manzo also went 3-for-4 and hit a pair of doubles and drove in two runs.

The Lady Highlanders tallied 11 hits off Whittier Christian’s Linh Blackney and Delaney Harris. Blackney was charged with the loss.
Coincidentally, Blackney and Harris also recorded Whittier Christian’s two hits.

Above: Whittier Christian Sophomore  Taylor Escobar takes a swing in Tuesday’s home game against La Habra.

Above: Whittier Christian Sophomore Taylor Escobar takes a swing in Tuesday’s home game against La Habra.


The loss snaps the Lady Heralds’ three-game win streak, which led to a third place finish in the Ontario Christian Tournament.
The two teams will continue nonleague action later this week.

La Habra will host La Serna on Thursday while Whittier Christian (3-8) will head to Whitney High School in Cerritos. Both games are scheduled for 3:15 p.m.

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Raider baseball rolls past Coyotes in league opener

Posted on 21 March 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

Firing one in: Raider starting pitcher JonPaul Sarro throws a pitch during the game against Buena Park Saturday. Sarro (2-1) surrendered four runs and struck out three in the Raiders’ 7-4 victory.

Firing one in: Raider starting pitcher JonPaul Sarro throws a pitch during the game against Buena Park Saturday. Sarro (2-1) surrendered four runs and struck out three in the Raiders’ 7-4 victory.

The Sonora baseball team started off their league schedule with a 7-4 victory over the Buena Park Coyotes, Friday, at home. The Raiders were plagued by bad defense early, and allowed Buena Park to stay in the game.

“We had a couple flat practices this week, and we came out and played sloppy,” said Sonora coach Pat Tellers. “It almost came back and bit us today.”

The Raiders (4-4, 1-0) were able to piece a few hits together in the first inning, and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Raider third baseman Gavin Blodgett made a costly throwing error in the top of the second, and the Coyotes (3-4, 0-1), were able to tie the game at 2.
Sonora got a solid outing out of sophomore pitcher JonPaul Sarro.

Sarro picked up the win to improve to 2-1. He went six innings, gave up four runs (two earned), while striking out three Coyotes.
“He threw really, really well,” Tellers said. “My biggest concern was the leadoff man getting on for a few innings in a row there.”
The game remained tied until the Raiders exploded for a four-run fourth inning. Henry Bustamante led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He then advanced to third on a passed ball.

Brandon Chandler then came up and hit a ground ball to the shortstop, who threw home but overthrew the catcher, allowing Chandler to get to second base. Luke Wilkinson followed him with a sacrifice fly to right field.

With Chandler taking off for home, Jacob Duran laid down a squeeze bunt that scored Chandler, and Duran reached first safely. He was then picked off. The next two batters walked, and then AJ Oviedo tripled over the right fielder’s head to score two runs.
Andrew Piraino added another RBI single before Blodgett popped out to end the inning. The Raiders had a 7-2 lead.
“I was looking dead red fastball,” Oviedo said. “He threw it to me, and I turned on it.”

Looking for the out: Sonora senior infielder Jacob Duran goes for the out at first base as the Raiders went on to beat Buena Park 7-4 in the Freeway League opener Friday at home.

Looking for the out: Sonora senior infielder Jacob Duran goes for the out at first base as the Raiders went on to beat Buena Park 7-4 in the Freeway League opener Friday at home.


Buena Park battled back in the sixth and cut the deficit to three runs. A costly error by Bustamante put runners on second and third, with one out. One run came in on a balk by Sarro and then Buena Park’s Isiah Baca drove in the other with a single.

Sarro managed to get his head back in the game, and struck out the next batter. Then, the next batter grounded out to Bustamante, to end the inning.

“After my balk, I told myself not to let them get anymore runners on,“ Sarro said. “I was able to keep the ball down and get the groundout.”
Henry Bustamante
The Raiders know the game was not perfect, but are happy to get a win to start off the league schedule.
“We need to come out with more intensity,” Oviedo added. “If we play like we did today, we can be beat.”
“It helps a lot to win the first league game,” Sarro added. “But, we need to play better if we plan on winning league.”

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Posted on 21 March 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Christina Ledesma
La Habra Journal

Friends of family__1After a recent separation from the Institute of Healthcare Advancement, the Friends of Family Health Center continues to grow and provide services to the La Habra community and its surrounding cities.

The Friends of Family Health Center is a non-profit organization in La Habra that provides medical and dental services for children and medical services for adults and seniors regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status. Recently, the Friends of Family Health Center separated from the Institute of Healthcare Advancement, who previously funded the health center, and became a Federal Qualified Heath Center.

The center has come a long way. It first started in 1993 as a pediatric community clinic at Las Lomas Elementary School and was called the Friends of Children Health Center.

According to Gloria Mayer the CEO of IHA, the elementary school first started receiving medical care from a St. Jude medical van, which would visit the school once a week.

“There were lines of people and they didn’t take any appointments. So people would just line up at five in the morning and the van came at nine,” she said.

The lines were so long the medical van was unable to treat everyone who was waiting for medical care. The elementary school then asked IHA if they could place a medical clinic on the grounds of the school.

During this time IHA also identified a need for dental care in the community. Mayer mentions that the low-income families did not view preventive dental care as a priority. “If you had trouble meeting the bills and meeting your obligations you weren’t going to take the kids to the dentist. That wasn’t a top priority.” IHA also decided to open up a dental clinic right next to the medical clinic. The patients would see a dental hygienist that would refer the patients to a dentist in the community if they needed other treatment.
With IHA’s great relationships with the dentists in the community they were able to help these low income patients with dental care, and about 90 percent of the dentists cooperated.

“That went on for years and it was really a great benefit to the community,” Mayer said.

The clinic was very successful however they needed more space because they became busier and their patients became sicker.
“They had asthma, some had diabetes. We don’t have a lot of kids with diabetes but we have some. The kids were just getting sicker and we needed more space,” Mayer said.

The city then asked IHA if they wanted to buy the building located on Idaho Street, which use to be the administration building for the Friendly Hills Healthcare Network. The Friendly Hills Healthcare Network went bankrupt and had been empty for eight years. IHA then decided to buy the building and move the clinic there. Once the clinic started to provide services for adults and seniors they decided to change the clinic’s name to the Friends of Family Health Center.

Since IHA has all free patients or patients that have managed care plans they were losing about one to two million dollars a year and were only making about $10-$12 per patient each month. IHA has an endowment and was very willing to provide the money for the clinic.
“We felt that we were doing something really positive for the community,” said Mayer.

However, things became more complicated and expensive for IHA to continue to provide money for the clinic and the board of directors decided that the clinic should apply to become a Federal Qualified Health Center in order to sustain the clinic.

An FQHC is a government program that funds community-based organizations that provide health care to those in their community regardless of their ability to pay or their insurance status. So they not only provide funding for Medi-Cal patients but also for those patients who are uninsured or undocumented.

According to Mayer, as an FQHC the clinic has a commitment to take care of everyone, because the government overpays them for Medi-Cal in order for them to do so.

About 75 percent of the patients they service come from the La Habra community, but they also service other patients in surrounding cities such as La Mirada, Whittier and Fullerton.

Another requirement of becoming a FQHC is also expanding its services to its patients. The clinic now has nine board certified doctors and offers primary care to adults, children and pregnant women.

Braham Bahremand, the CEO of the Friends of Family Health Center, said the whole purpose of Friends of Family Health Center is “to plan for the future and serve all the people, whether they are insured or uninsured.”

Bahremand, who has been with the clinic since July 2012 right after it was approved as a FQHC, says that the future of the clinic in 2013 and 2014 is to expand and make the clinic available to the capacity of accepting more patients.

“This maybe within this facility right here or having some satellite smaller facilities for the convenience of the people, but the center would be at this facility. That is what we are going for and that is what our board of directors is hoping for.”

Bahremand mentioned that another goal of the clinic is that they want people to feel good about coming to the clinic. “When they come they feel good about it regardless of their financial status. Whether they can afford it or not afford. They feel when they walk out; that they were taken care of. If we achieve that I am very happy.”

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HBIC ‘holds’ a game of giving with the community

Posted on 21 March 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Michelle Fedrizzi
La Habra Journal

Cards for a cause: Members of the community came out last month to play some cards and support HBIC.

Cards for a cause: Members of the community came out last month to play some cards and support HBIC.

Help for Brain Injured Children (HBIC) held a charity event, Texas Hold ‘Em tournament in hopes of raising money for their organization. The tournament consisted of ten tables; players playing paid $30 whereas those who watched paid $20. The night consisted of donated food, drinks and prizes from family, friends and the retail store, Costco. Staff, volunteers, and family members of the students all gathered around with a common cause; to help others.

Jason Cecil, director of development at HBIC, was eager to announce a recent funding for a new facility opening up in Whittier, for adults over the age of 22 with disabilities. Cecil working with HBIC for 20 years explained that the organization gets a great response and is growing with each event. “I love working here, the parents are really involved and come from everywhere to bring their kids”.

I’ll raise and call: Nearly a hundred people filled the HBIC Campus to play Texas Hold’em  supporting the growth and development of the La Habra based school.

I’ll raise and call: Nearly a hundred people filled the HBIC Campus to play Texas Hold’em supporting the growth and development of the La Habra based school.

In attendance, a parent of a student, Victor Lomeli who’s daughter Christina, 27 was the inspiration to build a new facility for adults expressed his appreciation for the school. “My daughter has been going here for 15 years. She was a normal child until the age of three and started back peddling. She has grown a lot here and can communicate with us now. She still does not talk but we see the improvement, and as a parent this is such an amazing feeling.” Excited about the new facility the Lomeli’s can put their ease at rest knowing that their child can still get the care she needs and deserves.

Song Kao, parent of 8-year-old Jason, commutes all the way from Covina, starts to tear up as she expresses her dedication and appreciation for all that HBIC has done for her son Jason, who has attended for more than two years was diagnosed with autism, and has made huge improvement since coming to the school.

A helping hand: HBIC’s Director of the Adult Program Christine Murray, HBIC’s middle school teacher Simi Sardona and Para Educator Gabby Chacon served drinks and cashed in chips.

A helping hand: HBIC’s Director of the Adult Program Christine Murray, HBIC’s middle school teacher Simi Sardona and Para Educator Gabby Chacon served drinks and cashed in chips.

“It is such a miracle to see what they do for the children. I will always be grateful,” she said.

HBIC is a non-profit organization, which gives children and young adults with disabilities the opportunity to learn. The school was established in 1967 starting as just a home with seven students, and has recently grown to 42. The staff continues to improve the students everyday lives, through communication, independent living skills and vocational training. HBIC works with each individual’s needs to allow for the best opportunities to improve their overall quality of life.

If you would like to open your heart and donate go to, www.hbic.org/donate.html or phone at (562) 694-5655.

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LH Heights elects new council

Posted on 08 March 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

With the majority of the ballots counted, the voters of La Habra Heights reelected Brian Bergman to the city council, as well as elected Heights Life Editor Michal Higgins and Kyle Miller to the city council.
Mayor Brian Bergman
Bergman had the highest percentage of the vote, garnering 24.1 percent at the latest check at 10 p.m.

Higgins was the second highest vote getter with 23.8 percent of the votes. Miller edged competitor Chester Jeng receiving 19.7 percent to Jeng’s 17.2 percent.

George Edwards received 15.2 percent of the votes.

The residents also decidedly voted to raise the Gann spending limit on the city by passing Measure A by a margin of 647-434 votes. The city will now be allowed to spend the money from its fire tax, which council members said would be used to help fund emergency and fire services in the city.

Michael Higgins

Michael Higgins

Measure B was too close to call Tuesday evening with a 546-536 difference. The measure would increase the per barrel oil tax from 25 cents to 60 cents as well as doubling the natural gas tax.

Some remaining absentee ballots and any remaining ballots will be counted, as well as a final tabulation of the election at La Habra Heights City Hall on Thursday starting at 9 a.m.

Kyle Miller

Kyle Miller

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Legion honors first responders

Posted on 08 March 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
LHJ_OfficerofYear_1
Two of La Habra’s finest were recognized by the American Legion last week where the members honored the policeman and fireman of the year.

La Habra Police Officer David Morrison and Los Angeles County Fireman/Paramedic Eduardo Rodriguez were presented with plaques at the 48th annual Police and Fire Luncheon.

Morrison, who started with the LHPD in 2008 after a career running his own printing company, was recognized for his outstanding efforts as a School Resource Officer servicing Washington and Imperial Middle Schools.

“David has really taken ownership of his schools and he takes pride in being their SRO,” said Interim Police Chief Jerry Price. “He has built positive relationships with the administrators, teachers. parents and of course the students on both campuses.”

Rodriguez, a 24 year veteran of the LA County Fire Department, became a paramedic for the department in 1990. Rodriguez works with at-risk kids as a part of the Rescue Youth program. He also works as a Paramedic Preceptor, helping other firefighters become competent paramedics through proper training.

One of the highlights of Rodriguez’ career was responding to the Sunset incident on May 6, 2012. He, along with other firefighters, was able to affect the rescue of three victims from the third floor of a burning motel.

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LHHS Jazz band serves Spaghetti fundraiser

Posted on 08 March 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Sarah Negrete
La Habra Journal
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More than 300 people turned out to help support the Jazz band of La Habra High School at its yearly Spaghetti dinner fundraiser last week at the Community Center.

Supporters attended to raise money for needed band equipment, new instruments and other essentials as well as enjoy the dinner. They also were treated to raffles, decorated cake contest and live music performed by LHHS Jazz band and middle schools Rancho Starbuck and Heights Christian School.

The fundraiser was organized by the La Habra High School Band Boosters, a group of volunteers and parents of students and musicians who strive to earn funds to maintain the music and color guard programs in La Habra.

Ann Janicki, a member of the Band Boosters, is the grandmother of La Habra Jazz band member and bass guitar player Jacob Parnham. She helped decorate the Community Center, sold tickets to the event and spread word of the fundraiser.

“We try to raise as much money as we can for the high school band,” explains Janiki. “This type of fundraising has even helped the entire band earn new uniforms. We still need new equipment, new instruments, and other things to keep the music programs going and that is why we are planning other future fundraisers such as the Car show in September.”

The annual Spaghetti dinner has helped the performers purchase more than 100 brand new uniforms for the marching and jazz bands of La Habra High School. The uniforms will be debuted later this month at the San Juan Capistrano Parade where the whole marching band will perform alongside other bands.

Fundraising events coordinator and Band Boosters member Lori Funke has organized the spaghetti dinners each year in addition to the past car shows and car washes dedicated to benefiting the high school band.

“It has taken at least 7-10 years for us to fundraise enough money for the uniforms,” Funke explained. “Each year we hold events and invite middle school bands to recruit new members for the high school band, and we even invite the La Habra City Council as well as other members to increase our chances of being able to provide for the general band fund.”

The members of the La Habra High School Jazz band were happy to be part of the dinner and other events, and are excited to wear the uniforms for their highly anticipated performance at the parade in March.

“Band parents and the band boosters do a lot of other fundraising events seasonally and during the summer in order to organize the Spaghetti dinner,” said jazz band member and trumpet player Mark Garcia-Prieto. “It took a long time and a lot of fundraising to get uniforms as well as band equipment. We are going to continue doing future events in the city, because it all helps.”

To find more information and future fundraising events hosted by the La Habra Band Boosters, visit :
www.ighlandermarchingband.com.

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La Habra releases new mobile city app

Posted on 08 March 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Abigail Dergazarian
La Habra Journal

La Habra is jumping into the 21st century and finally joining the rest of us instant users by launching the new la Habra City app.

The Contact La Habra Mobile app is specifically designed for the smart phone users of this era to better facilitate communication between La Habra residents and their city government.

By downloading the app, residents can transmit information about things like graffiti, potholes, or other issues needing city attention to the appropriate city staff instantly. The app also lets the city share information about events and other announcements.

City council member Tim Shaw explained, the company who created the app, Comcate, did so “with the target audience of smart phone users”.

As technology grows so does the demand to have the latest-and-greatest in smart phones and tablet apps to enrich our lives.
According to Shaw, this app will allow for greater communication between the city and the residents of La Habra.
The app is for Android and iPhone and can be downloaded from iTunes.

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Bell’s memory shared

Posted on 08 March 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Daniel Hernandez
La Habra Journal
museum

The chorus of his song echoes off the wooden floor of the historical museum, resurrecting a thought from a recently deceased son of a World War II chaplain.

In memory of the song’s writer Bruce Bell, who tragically died in an auto accident a month ago, the La Habra Historical Museum assembled war artifacts belonging to Eugene Bell, his father, displaying them in an exhibit titled “Defending Our Freedom.”

Among the war relics, a red leather-bound religious songbook with a bullet lodged through the center rests inside the museum’s glass casing, arousing chills upon visitors to the old building.

“People have been very moved by it,” La Habra Historical Museum registrar Suzette Eschberger said. “It makes everybody stop and think a little bit.”

Through a small boom box placed below Eugene Bell’s allotted exhibit space, a song titled “Bullet in the Bible” plays sporadically throughout the exhibit hours.

Bruce Bell conveys in the song emotional feelings describing what his mother told him about the story of his father being shot during the war, long time friend Paul Svenson said.

Although not confirmed directly from Eugene Bell, Svenson said Bruce Bell’s mom recounted the story of how the book — filled with religious songs — saved Eugene Bell’s life during the Second World War.

Bruce Bell’s mom explained to her son that his father wore this Bible in his jacket pocket when he was shot, Svenson said.
Absorbing a bullet from a combatant fighter over seas, Eugene Bell might have been knocked back by the force of the impact, Eschberger hypothesized, describing how deep the bullet penetrates the book.

Bruce Bell’s father, she said, might have been in a heap of pain.

Eugene Bell, like most World War II veterans, did not speak much about the war, Svenson stated.

“He was a very quiet, kind of dignified United Methodist Minister who cared about civil rights,” Svenson, who grew up close with the Bell family, said.
The lyrics of the country song describe the son’s thoughts after he stumbled upon his father’s Army Navy songbook.

The book — titled “Song and Service Book for Ship and Field” was with his mother’s belongings, and it was discovered after she passed away, Svenson said. At the bottom of the book, embossed in gold ink, are the words “Army and Navy.”
Svenson is responsible for loaning the chaplain’s World War II relics to the museum.

Before Bruce Bell passed away, Svenson and Bell discussed lending the book with the bullet and other memorabilia to La Habra where Eugene Bell was a minister in the mid sixties.

Although professional country musicians recorded the song written by Bell, Svenson noted that he might re-record it himself in the future.

However, in a touching display of friendship, Svenson performed the song at the memorial service for Bruce Bell.

The museum, located on La Habra Boulevard next to the library, opened the “Defending Our Freedom” exhibit back in October with an anticipated end date of March 16.

In addition to Eugene Bell’s religious songbook with a bullet lodged through it, other military and war memorabilia are arranged in the small space of the building.

One particular story illustrates the hardships that Private Shirley McMasters endured during World War I. While she lay injured in the Battle of Meuse-Argonne in France, German soldiers dropped mustard gas on the field.

Were it not for a heroic soldier who hustled to provide a gas mask for McMasters, she could have died, Eschberger explained.

Filled with a plethora of military stories from La Habra residents or people connected to the city, The “Defending Our Freedom” exhibit emanates with a patriotic sentiment.

Eugene Bell’s story, as told by Bruce Bell in his song, expresses a religious overtone and appreciation.

The hook of the song lies in the image of the red songbook. The two items — song and book — separated yearn to be together, and at the La Habra Historical Museum visitors have a chance to experience the nostalgia first hand….“For years I heard a story about a bullet that he took. It would have hit his heart if it wasn’t for a book.”

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Dr. Seuss celebration

Posted on 08 March 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Maritza Galvan
La Habra Journal
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Children took time to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Day last Friday morning at the Children’s Museum
The museum, along with PBS SoCal put on many activities for children and their parents to take part in. The goal for this day was to make children aware of Dr. Seuss and have a good time in this fun, loving environment.

Children took part in live reading stations where volunteers from the LH Police Department and firefighters from the LA County Fire Department read popular books to children. The reading stations allowed the children to interact with the emergency responders and they had a great time . It was apparent that most of the children loved listening to local heroes reading a story or two to them.

Along with that, the children got the opportunity to make crazy hats with their parents and siblings. The kids got to express their creativity and make these cool crazy hats. There were various materials to make these hats to look pretty interesting including markers, and strings. There was nothing but smiles in the room. Every child was having a blast and couldn’t wait to put on their crazy hat.

In another room PBS had the chance to screen some of its “Cat in the Hat” cartoons to the children The room was filled with children. Some local preschools were in attendance with their teachers.

Aside from these activities the kids were given the chance to make “oobleck” which was like silly putty. This experiment allowed the kids to do a hands-on activity that they found to be very enjoyable.

PBS SoCal’s event coordinator Alyssa Torrez explained that their goal for the event is to help the children.PBS SoCal travels to communities and schools to spread the word of learning and to share resources for kids to be successful.

Along with the museum being a fun place for children, parents love bringing their children here because it’s a safe environment for their children to learn in.

“I like the variety of activities for the kids, they spark their creativity for imaginative play,” said member Libby Mccarthy.

She and her daughter are big fans of the museum and come once a week. Libby’s 3-year-old daughter had a great time in the crafts center which seemed to be a favorite for many of the children

Aside from having a good time at the different stations, the children learned more about Dr. Seuss on his birthday and got to interact and celebrate in a good learning environment.

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