Archive | May, 2016

La Habra edges Rio Mesa, advances to CIF Semifinals

La Habra edges Rio Mesa, advances to CIF Semifinals

Posted on 30 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

Behind Hannah Johnson’s 13-strikeout pitching performance, the Lady Highlanders softball team defeated Rio Mesa 4-2 in Thursday’s quarterfinal game.

Hannah Johnson delivers a pitch in the sixth inning against Rio Mesa on Thursday afternoon.

Hannah Johnson delivers a pitch in the sixth inning against Rio Mesa on Thursday afternoon.

Johnson allowed only one run and recorded every single out in the game, despite being replaced to begin the sixth inning.
Harley Wells entered the game and faced two batters, but gave up back to back singles. Head Coach Steve Harrington quickly made the change back to Johnson after the latter single got past the centerfielder and rolled to the fence, bringing Rio Mesa to within one run at 3-2.
Harrington said the move to bring in Wells was an attempt to change up the pace and give Rio Mesa a little bit of a different look.
“I thought I would try to change it up a little bit, but for whatever reason it didn’t quite pan out for us today,” Harrington said. “More often than not Harley is effective, very rarely does that happen, so I will just look at it as a fluke.”
Johnson got back into the circle and retired the next three Rio Mesa batters in a row, striking out a pair.
“Hannah has really got a great mindset,” Harrington said. “She is welcoming the challenge and we are riding her coattails.”
The Lady Highlanders quickly regained the momentum in the bottom half of the sixth.
Johnson led off the inning and was hit by a pitch. After her pinch runner advanced on a sacrifice bunt, Kira Cauley stepped up with an RBI single to bring in the game’s final run and give La Habra some breathing room heading into the final inning.
Johnson allowed a pair of hits in the seventh to the same duo responsible for Rio Mesa’s first score, Kiana Abellera and Taise Thompson. With the tying run in scoring position, Johnson got Jocelyn Soto to flyout deep to centerfield, allowing the La Habra crowd to collectively exhale.

After stealing second base on a delayed double steal, Kira Cauley outran everyone to a vacant third base in the fourth inning of the Lady Highlanders quarterfinal game against Rio Mesa on Thursday. La Habra scored a run on the play to extend the lead to 3-1.

After stealing second base on a delayed double steal, Kira Cauley outran everyone to a vacant third base in the fourth inning of the Lady Highlanders quarterfinal game against Rio Mesa on Thursday. La Habra scored a run on the play to extend the lead to 3-1.

Despite the threat Rio Mesa presented in the seventh, Johnson’s teammates were confident she would close the game out strong.
“When she came out and struck out the first three batters, I knew [Johnson] was ready today,” Cauley said.
Cauley was the offensive catalyst for La Habra. In the first inning, she walked and stole third base, one of her three steals on the day. Nikki Butler singled to bring Cauley home and give the Lady Highlanders an early lead.
“Kira has been on fire for us,” Harrington said.
“We want to win this whole thing, so I just have to stay in there for my team,” Cauley said.
Rio Mesa answered in the third inning with back to back singles from Abellera and Thompson to tie the game.
“They started catching up a little bit, but I just kept doing my job,” Johnson said.
La Habra battled back to take the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning. Johnson, helped herself with a leadoff double and came home on a Jayanna Perez RBI single. After Cauley Walked, runners were on the corners when they successfully pulled off a delayed double steal to extend the lead.
La Habra will next take on the No. 4 seed Valley View in the semifinal game at Moreno Valley.
“Where we are at right now, everybody is going to give us their best game and that is what these kids have had to learn, and they have learned,” Harrington said. “In my opinion they have the complete makeup of what a team should be… they listen to criticism well, support each other, and hold each other accountable, it’s been a marvelous experience.”

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Lady Highlanders win big over Arroyo Grande

Lady Highlanders win big over Arroyo Grande

Posted on 20 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The La Habra softball team broke a scoreless tie with a decisive six-run fourth inning to pull ahead of Arroyo Grande for good on Thursday afternoon, advancing the Lady Highlanders to the second round of the CIF playoffs.

Left fielder Kira Cauley prevents Arroyo from getting on the scoreboard with a running grab in the first inning on Thursday.

Left fielder Kira Cauley prevents Arroyo from getting on the scoreboard with a running grab in the first inning on Thursday.

La Habra sealed the victory in the sixth inning. Kira Cauley, who narrowly missed a home run earlier in the game, came to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a walkoff grand slam, forcing the umpires to call an end to the game with the Lady Highlanders ahead 10-0.

“I honestly thought it bounced over the fence, that’s why I stopped at second,” Cauley said.

Cauley credited everybody for talking to each other after every at bat and sharing what pitches they were seeing.

“The rise ball was what she was throwing and once we learned to stay off of that, we started picking it up,” she said.

Hannah Johnson started in the circle for La Habra, pitching her second consecutive complete game shutout. Johnson finished with six strikeouts.

Arroyo threatened a couple times early on, but couldn’t convert. The Eagles best opportunity to score came in the third inning.

After back to back singles Arroyo had runners on the corners with one out. Kacie Bulger hit a shot to the right field, but Frankie Mendoza made the catch near the fence and doubled up the lead runner at third, who left on contact, to end the rally.

Johnson didn’t allow a runner into scoring position the rest of the way. She said that after the third inning, she got comfortable, especially after her offense backed her with six runs in the fourth.

Arroyo starting pitcher Julie Lewis threw the ball hard and looked good early, but in the third inning La Habra began catching up with her velocity.

La Habra's Hannah Johnson delivers a fastball against Arroyo Grande during La Habra's 10-0 shutout victory in the opening round of CIF Thursday.

La Habra’s Hannah Johnson delivers a fastball against Arroyo Grande during La Habra’s 10-0 shutout victory in the opening round of CIF Thursday.

Alyssa Palacios finished the game with a double and two singles in three at bats.

“After everybody had their at bat, we would all come in the dugout and tell everybody what [Lewis] was pitching, and that’s the reason I got on base,” Palacios said.

La Habra Head Coach Steve Harrington said afterwards that he was really impressed at how well his team communicated with each other in the dugout, especially in how detailed they were.

La Habra (27-1) will travel to Redlands to take on Redlands East Valley High School (17-9) in the second round on Tuesday. Redlands defeated Canyon Springs 7-6 in nine innings yesterday to advance.

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Lady Raiders battle, but fall to Aliso Niguel in playoffs

Lady Raiders battle, but fall to Aliso Niguel in playoffs

Posted on 20 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

The Lady Raiders battled  Aliso Niguel  from start to finish, but ultimately fell, 7-5 in eight innings.

After falling behind early, the Lady Raiders (12-11-1) evened the score in the fourth. However, the Wolverines (20-8) bit back with four runs, extending their lead to 5-1.Web_LHJ LHHS_SHS Softball_102

Sonora needed to chip away if they were going to keep up with the powerful bats from Aliso Niguel.

“There was no doubt we wanted to fight, that was definitely the goal,we’re out to win, always hungry, always trying to do our best,” Chelsea Purcell said.

Frankie Juarez led off the fifth inning fighting off multiple pitches before ending her at bat with a walk. Gabby Munoz benefited from the prior battle, drawing a walk of her own. However with runners on first and second, the Raiders next two batters failed to drive in any runs.

Purcell stepped to the plate, sensing the moment. She drove a pitch to deep center field. Juarez and Hernandez both scored, but the relay throw from second base went to third instead of home and beat Purcell’s slide into third.

The two-run double cut the Raider deficit in half, but ended the inning.

The sixth inning moved quickly with no runs scored. In the seventh inning, the Raiders led off the inning with a single by Maddy Rodriguez. Juarez followed, slapping a single just inside the left field foul line. With runners on first and second, Munoz sacrificed the runners into scoring position.

With the Raiders needing a break, they got one.  An easy roller to short was picked up, but the throw to first sailed high.  Lauren Blazey advanced to to third.

Blazey sprinted home, and Hernandez took first. Followed with a hard liner to right that scored Juarez, but wasn’t deep enough to avoid her being thrown out at first. With the Raiders now tied, they had their best chance to pull away.

Unfortunately, after giving up a fourth inning solo shot to Purcell, then the double in the fifth, the Wolverines wanted no part of the Raider short stop.

“It’s super frustrating, because as a team captain and as a senior, I want to do everything I can for my team,” Purcell said.

They walked her and then escaped the inning with a grounder from Claudia Kim.

The Wolverines offense was too much for the Raiders, who led off the eighth with a single, then a double. With the Raiders trying to prevent runs, with the infield in, Haeley Tran singled up the middle clearing the bases. The two run single was enough for the Wolverines, who shut down the Raiders to lock it up and advance to the next round of playoffs.

After the game, head coach Michelle Rodriguez was very satisfied with the play of her team and their resiliency.

“The fact that they came back and they didn’t give up when they were down by four, all that is so promising for next year,” Rodriguez said.

Purcell finishes her Raider career on a bright note, playing stellar defense all season, and finishing with a solo shot, and nearly a triple. She finished the day with three RBI.

“She finished her career here the way she should,” Rodriguez said.

Sam Casanas pitched well enough to give the Raiders a chance.

“I’m so happy with how consistently she’s been pitching,” Rodriguez said, “She’s understanding and matured so much more, that’s what you want to see your kids do,”

Though Casanas never appeared to lose confidence, Aliso Niguel’s offensive versatility topped the Lady Raiders.

The Wolverines put four on the board in the top of the fifth inning. They led off the inning with a single, but with one out dropped down to textbook bunts to load the bases. They scored two on a double, then two more on a single for their four run outburst.

“When we got the bunts down, the girls behind them knocked them in,” Aliso Niguel head coach Alan Caouette said.

The Wolverines have shown the ability to battle, with wins against Mission Viejo, and a come from behind victory against Dana Hills where they came from being down 8-1, to win 9-8. With this already on their resume, they were uniquely prepared when Sonora staged their comebacks.

“All year long they’ve gotten better, they could have folded up multiple times this season where they wouldn’t have made the playoffs, but they battled back, so I think they have the fire and the intensity to do what it takes,” Caouette said.

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Raiders shutout Estancia

Raiders shutout Estancia

Posted on 20 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

The Raiders extended their season one more game with an 8-0 win over Estancia High School in the CIF Division 4 baseball playoffs.La Habra vs Rosary Softball 2016

The Raiders took advantage of poor infield defense, putting up seven runs in the first three innings.

“You guys have to be solid in the playoffs, in all aspects of the game, defense has to be solid, you have to execute at the plate, and you have to make good pitches,” Sonora head coach Pat Tellers said about a conversation to his team before the game.

Wilem Drozdowski led off the second inning with a walk, he moved over to second on a single by Jacob Baltierrez. Jason Clayton then followed with a one out single to load the bases.

With the bases loaded, Max Wilkinson slapped the ball into right field, scoring two. The Raiders kept the inning rolling with a sacrifice fly from Dylan Villalobos, deep enough to score the speedy centerfielder Clayton from third.

In the third inning, Mehial Nazaroff led off the inning with a grounder, but ended up standing on second as the throw to first sailed over the head of the Estancia first baseman.

Drozdowski again had the bat taken from him, walking for his second time to put two runners on.

With Baltierrez showing bunt, both Estancia corner infielders ran up to field the bunt, but Baltierrez quickly spapped a single up the middle to score Nazaroff from second.

“He puts the ball in play with everyone moving, they changed their bunt coverage, and we just happened to make the right call,” Tellers said.

In an attempt to simply move runners to second and third, Dominic Morales dropped down a bunt back to the pitcher. Estancia tried to get Drozdowski at third, but threw the ball into left field, allowing him to come home. Clayton took first on a hit by pitch, then added another run on a double play from Wilkinson. Villalobos capped the inning off with another run scoring single.

“You’ve got to put the ball on the ground, make them make plays,” Tellers said.

With a 7-0 lead, the Raiders focused their attention to defense, behind Matt Schmidt.

Tellers knew he could lean on his senior in this game, with memories from his tournament excellence.

“He’s the senior, he’s been there before,” Tellers, “we’ve got to go with him, the way he performed in tounament atmosphere, it’s a good thing to have.”

The Raiders got seven strong innings of shutout baseball by senior Schmidt. Schmidt dominated the Estancia Eagles forcing his opponents to pound the ball into the ground.

“It makes you feel more comfortable up there, pitching to contact,” Schmidt said.

Unlike their opponents however, the Raiders played clean baseball behind Schmidt as they cruised to a decisive victory.

The game was never in doubt as the Raiders added one more in the eighth.

The Raiders took a gamble by saving Dylan Villalobos who has pitched well against many of their tough opponents.

“It’s a chance you’ve got to take. You’ve got to win with your other guys on the mound,” Tellers said.

Tellers intends to use Villalobos in their game on Thursday, as they look to upset Kaiser.

“You’ve got to go out on the road and win another one, stranger things have happened,” Tellers said with his focus turning to Kaiser.

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LHCSD board sticks with four

LHCSD board sticks with four

Posted on 19 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

After a vacancy was created on the La Habra City School District board, the remaining members decided last week to not hold a special election to fill the spot and go with just four members until the elections in November.
The vacancy was created when board president Liz Steves recently moved out of state. LHCSD logo
According to the California Education Code, when a vacancy occurs, that district’s local school board has 60 days to either order an election or make a provisional appointment to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.
Further, Section 5093 of the Ed Code also states that: “there shall be no special election or appointment to fill a vacancy on a governing board if the vacancy occurs within four months of the end of the term of that position.”
Ian Harrington of the Orange County Board of Education explained that the local districts are the ones who determine how they should proceed when a vacancy comes up.
“The Trustees agreed that since the election was in November and they are a united Board that they would wait until the election to let the community decide,” said Dr. Susan Belenardo, LHCSD superintendent.
Steves’ term ended this election cycle and her position would be on the November ballot even if she did not move.
According to Board President John Dobson, the board “gets along” and that helped in the decision to continue the remaining months with four members.  “If we didn’t get along, then we would have looked at having an election to fill the spot and make it an odd number again,” he said.
The challenge for Dobson will be to ensure that all of the board members attend the remaining meetings in order to maintain a quorum.
“Trustees are very good about attendance and keeping us informed,” Belenardo said. “So this is not a challenge.”
The vacant position as well as Dobson’s position will be on the November ballot.  Dobson said he will be running for reelection .
The board meets twice a month.

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Heights approves Fire Tax

Heights approves Fire Tax

Posted on 19 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

The La Habra Heights City Council approved the annual increase of the fire tax at its May meeting.
The 1.7 percent increase is an adjustment reflective of the cost of living increase, according to Shauna Clark, La Habra Heights City Manager.LHH_Fire_3_4C-1024x795
According to city staff, the estimated cost to fund the La Habra Heights Fire Department this year is $1,285,639.
The tax, with the approved COLA increase is estimated to generate nearly $1,069,350.  The remaining $216,289 will be covered by the city’s general fund.
La Habra Heights Mayor Kyle Miller explained that the fire department is separate but also a part of the city. He added that they share administrative costs of the city staff and that helps provide a savings.
The fire tax was adopted by the voters in  1997. The provisions established then require the city manager to annually recalculate the tax ammounts and give notice to the council. The council will then approve or reject the tax.
“There is a cost for the fire department,” Miller said, “but we try to keep it as low as we can for the residents.”
Anne Edwards suggested that the council should consider eliminating the tax and possibly turning the services over to Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Council members explained that they had received bids from LA County Fire two years ago and it was approximately $3 million.
Miller said that it would not be the best choice for the residents.
The city had also previously approved a cost-per-use for paramedic coverage.
Clark explained that the city has a fire tax for suppression and that it used to pay the city of La Habra for paramedic service.  A couple years ago, the city decided to do its own.
“The paramedics are funded by the fire tax, the general fund and the proceeds that they bring in,” Clark said.
The proceeds are the per-use charge of $45 for the residents of LHH.
“For the day-to-day operations and the calls that we get, the fire department does a pretty good job,” said Councilman and former fireman Roy Francis.  “Dollar for dollar the community is getting a good deal here and getting a good service.”
He added that the “paramedic fee is the best insurance you can buy.”

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Celebrating 25 years of helping kids learn

Celebrating 25 years of helping kids learn

Posted on 19 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Christie Garcia
La Habra Journal

Rosie’s Garage recently celebrated 25 years of helping La Habra children by creating a safe haven for young students who need homework help.Ribbon cutting
The open house and ribbon cutting ceremony last week allowed state and city officials, along with community members, to see the recent renovations and improvements to the facility.
The renovations were part of IGT’s After School Advantage program, which provided a grant for updating Rosie’s equipment.
IGT After School Advantage is a global community investment program, which provides qualifying non-profit community agencies and public schools with a digital learning center.
The goal of the IGT program is in line with the mission of Rosie’s Garage. The goal of IGT is “digital learning centers are designed to provide underprivileged/at-risk children ages five to 18 with a meaningful, yet fun, learning experience during the critical after-school hours, in a safe environment,” according to IGT.
Rosie’s Garage now boasts upgraded computer workstations, laptop stations (with laptops for children to use), reading areas and white boards for tutors to provide the assistance the students need.Rosee_4
An addition was more college pennants hanging around the facility to help inspire local children about the importance of education and that they can set college goals early.
The non-profit tutoring center was started by Rose Espinoza in hopes of creating a safe space that will bring in at-risk and underprivileged kids to get them interested and focused in school, and in turn keeping them out of gangs.
Espinoza opened up her garage for neighborhood kids for the first time in 1991. She made the garage resemble a classroom by putting in chairs, desks and other school supplies.
The intention was for Rosie’s Garage to be available for two years but after seeing the enthusiasm from the kids of wanting to go every day after school along with the success it had, it was hard to stop.
The future was bright for Rosie’s Garage. Espinoza’s work has received national recognition and has been featured by People and O, The Oprah Magazine.
What is in store for the future of Rosie’s Garage also seems to be promising.
Today kids that live in a neighborhood that once made an average of 1,300 calls to the police department throughout a two year span have a safe environment where they can learn and get excited about school.

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Gem Show ready to dazzle

Gem Show ready to dazzle

Posted on 19 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Ashley Pellegrini
La Habra Journal

Obsidian, Jasper, and geodes are just a few of the precious rocks, and gems that will be on display at this year’s 32nd annual “Jubilee of Gems” put on by the North Orange County Gem and Mineral Society.Rock Flyer
This year’s theme, “Rocks around the Clock,” showcases a wide array of rocks from all over the world consisting of displays, dealers, demonstrations, raffles, kids activities, and a silent auction.
Guests should expect to see demonstrations consisting of: beading, rock carving, faceting, silversmithing, and lapidary (polishing of stone).
Guests will also have the opportunity to select their very own geode, and will have a chance to have it cut in half out on the patio.
The Gem and Mineral Society focuses on the expansion of kid’s education with an emphasis on earth sciences.
The non-profit organization recently awarded two high school seniors a scholarship based on essays they wrote.
The scholarship participants had to construct an essay elaborating on the uses of Mineral Salt in Ancient and Modern Society. The entries were then read by the group, and voted on.
Each year the topic of the essay changes, and is designed to encourage those interested in earth science, a chance to expand on their ideas and personal interest.
Show Chairperson Don Warthen and his wife, President Ofelia Warthen, joined the club several years ago. Ofelia hopes that getting the youth involved in the group will encourage a different type of entertainment.
“I would like kids to have a good experience with earth science,” she said.Gem Show__026
She expressed that she was extremely grateful to the mayor of La Habra, Jim Gomez for being so supportive of the organization and it’s positive educational cause for the community and it’s children.
Gem member Linda Chu has been a member of the association since 2011. She has her own jewelry business in which she uses her love of making jewelry out of rocks. She expressed that all rocks and gem shows in general are different. “This is a show you don’t want to miss,” she stated.
“The gem show is meant to educate people about the desert, and is a wonderful opportunity to remind the public that they can go out and dig for these rocks themselves,” said Don Warthen.
He expressed that the group takes trips out to the local deserts in search of rocks and geodes.
Don and his wife enjoy cutting the rocks and making them into beautiful jewelry. The association highly encourages kids to discover various types of rocks, and the possibilities of creativity are endless.
There will be a kids corner that will consist of grab bags, spinning wheel, and educational activities. Workshops are often held for the kids in the La Habra community.
“Kids at this year’s gem show will be able to learn how to make toothpaste, anything rock related and an opportunity to learn how to pan for gem stones,” Warthen said.Gem Show__108
Ofelia expressed her love of creating beautiful jewelry.
“I find working with precious stones is extremely therapeutic,” she said. “We often become so consumed that we forget about the world around us.”
The Gem show will be held Friday, June 3-5 at the La Habra Community Center. Parking and admission are completely free.
All proceeds from the raffles will support the La Habra Youth group.

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COMMUNITY THEATER ROUNDUP

COMMUNITY THEATER ROUNDUP

Posted on 19 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By John Francis
La Habra Journal

The Mysterium Theatre at La Habra Depot is getting busier and busier these days as Artistic Director Marla Ladd is getting ready to present three different plays during the upcoming summer months.Music Man_4C
“The Music Man” will start it off opening June 16 and will run through July 17 and then Ladd will be directing Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” outdoors next to the theater that will open July 2 at 5 p.m.  In addition, Myterium will present “The Little Mermaid,” beginning July 9 that will run through July 17 at 4 p.m.
“The Music Man,” will run Thursdays through Sundays with shows at 8 p.m. and performances for Sundays will be 7 p.m.
As if that isn’t enough, Mysterium will be holding its annual Summer Youth Theater Camp July 18-21 and 25-29, where children will learn the styles of acting and performing.
For more information and ticket prices call the theatre at (562) 697-3311. Mysterium has ticket prices for adults, seniors, students and military personnel.

Whittier Community Theatre will be presenting its final  play of  its 93rd season when it opens Ken Ludwigs’s “The Game’s Afoot,” June 3 for three consecutive weekends at the Whittier Center Theater, 7630 S. Washington Ave.
The comedy is directed by Suzanne Frederickson and produced by Karen Jacobson and will be at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays with one matinee June 12 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, students and military.  For information or reservations contact the box office at (562) 695-0600.

My good friends at the Westminster Community Playhouse are presenting the comedy “Funny Money,” by Ray Cooney beginning June 3 and continuing through June 19 at the theater located at 7272 Maple St., Westminster.
The play, directed by Priscilla Gonzalez, will be at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
For reservations and tickets prices call the theater at (714) 893-8626.

Long Beach Playhouse is presenting several productions this summer starting off with Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin In The Sun,” directed by Phyllis B. Gitlin, which is currently playing through June 18.
After “Raisin,” the playhouse will present the Peter Weiss written “Marat/Sade,” beginning June 11 and playing through July 9 in the upstairs Studio Theater.
Then the Playhouse will present the famous Broadway Musical “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” July 2-Aug. 6 on the mainstage.
Anthony Galleran is directing the production with Bill Wolfe musical directing and Tanya Thompson choreographing.
Long Beach will then finish it off with the comedy “Reasons To Be Pretty” in the upstairs theater beginning July 23 and playing through Aug. 20.
The theater is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St. and tickets and reservations can be had by calling (562) 494-1014.

And Finally, Huntington Beach Playhouse will be presenting its second production of the season, “MASH,” July 23 through Aug. 13.
The play will be at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Saturdays.  There are no Sunday performances.
For tickets and reservations call (714) 847-4367.

Feel free to get a hold of me if you have a play opening or auditions coming up at your theater or if you would like to let us know what your local theater is doing.  Contact me at johnstoy@flash.net.
(John Francis has been a member of the local theater community for the past 50 years.  He has a BA and MA in acting/directing from Cal-State University Los Angeles.).

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Free sign language classes help educate the hearing community

Posted on 19 May 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Naomi Osuna
La Habra Journal

La Habra Church of Christ offers a free sign language class to the community every other Thursday evening.
Mary Lange, a freshman at Sonora High School, volunteers her time to teach this sign language class. When Lange first started teaching, about three months ago, she began with the letters of the alphabet and now they are starting to sign words along with letters.
According to Lange, as more people come they add more information and ask the class to contribute which topics they would like to learn about.
Standing at the front of the class, she demonstrates the hand gestures and finger placement as well as uses a power point presentation giving a more in-depth explanation of the sign language symbols.
Along with having a power point she also offers a print out of the power point for the students to take home and practice on their own to help master the language.
Every other Thursday she chooses a new topic or theme to teach in signing.
Lange teaches an interactive and hands-on class with the students, encouraging them to sign along with her as she teaches them. The students are eager to learn and the combination of visual and verbal demonstrations along with printouts to take home, make for a lasting knowledge of the language.
Her class has grown each week mainly by word of mouth, a testament to the young instructor.
Lange takes American Sign Language 1 at Sonora High School.
“The reason I offer classes is because I wanted to get more practice.” She explained.
By teaching the class it reinforces everything she’s learned and makes her a better and stronger student of sign language .
Educating others on sign language benefits the entire community.
“I think it’s nice for the deaf to feel like they are not such outcast,” Lange said,  “because if more people are learning sign language, they won’t feel as outcasts.”
Everyone is encouraged to join the sign language class, there is no prerequisite or age requirement and knowledge of sign language is not necessary.
Lange keeps printouts of previous classes for new students or for students who may need a refresher, making it an easy transition for a new student.
For more information you can go to their website coclh.org

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