Archive | November, 2016

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Highlanders outgunned by Nighthawks arsenal

Posted on 26 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

La Habra’s Cinderella CIF run came to end Friday night at home, as the Highlanders dropped a wild shootout to Murrieta Valley 62-43 in the semifinal matchup.

The Highlanders came out fired up for the CIF-SS semifinal game Friday. Photo by Matt Brown.

The normally stout Highlander defense was undone by the precision right arm of Nighthawk quarterback Hank Bachmeier and the explosive legs of running back Olita Palmer.

La Habra’s Giron and Casillias put a hit on Murrieta Valley’s Olita Palmer during Friday’s’ semifinals loss. Photo by Matt Brown.

Palmer, who began the game with just under 2000 yards on the season, carried the ball 37 times for 290 yards and reached the end zone four times. Palmer credited his offensive line and said he was just following them all night.

“This was just an emotional game, we went into the locker room like we didn’t want the season to end,” Palmer said. “We like going to practice, I like being surrounded by this group of guys and I’ll do anything for them.”

Bachmeier’s accuracy was on full display, as the sophomore completed 23-27 passes for 306 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 56 yards rushing.

“That’s a really good offense, they have everything,” said La Habra Head Coach Frank Mazzotta. “They have a good quarterback-check, running back-check, receivers-check and offensive line-check.”

Mazzotta added that there was so much talent on the field tonight that it felt like a college game, and the score reflected that.

The Highlanders actually got on the board first. On the opening drive, quarterback Zach Fogel quickly moved the offense down the field 61 yards on six plays before Madison Wheeler punched it in from three yards out.

La Habra Quarterback Zach Fogel looks for Henderson during the semifinal game. Fogel passed for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for two others. Photo by Matt Brown.

Murrieta Valley answered back right away. After each team had a pair of possessions the score was knotted at 14.

The Highlanders finally stumbled on their third possession, going three-and-out after being hit with their fourth false start penalty of the first quarter.

The Nighthawks took the lead on the next possession when Bachmeier connected with Marquis Spiker from 18 yards out for the duo’s second of three scores of the night.

The Highlanders listen to their coaches as they watch video during the CIF-SS semifinal loss to Murrieta Valley Friday. Photo by Matt Brown.

The Highlanders successfully slowed down and beat two high powered offenses, in Oaks Christian and Redlands East Valley, in the first two rounds of CIF, but had no answer for Murrieta Valley all night.

After forcing five interceptions and making key stops in critical situations the previous two weeks, the Highlanders failed to stop the Nighthawks from scoring on a single possession until they fumbled the ball with 3:09 left in the game. However, by then the game was already out of reach.

La Habra Linebacker Cameron Rivas tried to fire up the team before Friday’s game. Photo by Matt Brown.

“We took ourselves out of our element,” said linebacker and leading tackler Camron Rivas. “It’s not all about X’s and O’s, it’s about who wants it more and they wanted it more tonight.”

Rivas had double digit tackles in all three playoff games this season, picking up right where he left off in 2015, when Rivas was named the divisional Defensive Player of the Year in CIF Southern Section.

“I would never point the finger at our defense at all,” Fogel said. “They are playing the best ball they have played in a long time, I think our

La Habra’s Zach Fogel and Madison Wheeler celebrate in the end zone after a score Friday night. Photo by Matt Brown.

defense has some great leaders and is full of fighters, but Murrieta just had more playmakers tonight.”

La Habra’s offensive unit was impressive as well, scoring on six of the first eight possessions.

Fogel threw for 220 yards with two touchdowns and added 92 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, including a 44-yard keeper that he took into the end zone untouched that tied the game at 21 early in the second quarter.

Prince Ross caught three passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. Ross also broke free for an 80 yard touchdown run a few minutes before halftime to bring the Highlanders within a score. But the Nighthawks wound up adding another score with just :18 left in the second quarter to make it 42-28 at the half. La Habra kept pace, but couldn’t cut it below two scores the rest of the way.

Wheeler ran the ball effectively for the third consecutive week, but because La Habra was playing from behind the entire second half, Mazzotta

La Habra’s hard-fought season comes to an end with a 62-43 loss to Murrieta Valley in the CIF-SS semifinal game Friday. Photo by Matt Brown.

couldn’t stick with the running game as much as he would have liked to. Wheeler collected 91 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries, and added 27 yards receiving.

“I’m so proud of how much we improved this year,” Mazzotta said. “This team was so much fun, they came to practice everyday and worked their asses off, they were really a lot of fun to be around.”

The Highlanders end the season at 8-5, one game shy of a rematch with San Clemente for the chance at back-to-back CIF titles, so they were understandably downtrodden afterwards. However coming in to the playoffs as the No. 14 seed, the 2016 Highlander football team far-exceeded expectations in the CIF tournament.

“It’s a bitter-sweet moment right now, I’m blessed that I had an opportunity to do this for four years and to do it at the level I did it at,” Rivas said afterwards reflecting on his final game. “I just want thank my coaches, thank my teammates and thank God most importantly, I’m truly grateful and truly blessed, I can’t even say how much I love this place.”

“The hardest thing about this is seeing my guys and knowing how hard we fought, but I couldn’t be more proud of my guys,” Fogel added. “I think we really grew as a brotherhood this year.”

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Highlanders tame Wildcats to advance to semifinal game

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Highlanders tame Wildcats to advance to semifinal game

Posted on 19 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

Highlighted by a stifling first half and a pair of late interceptions, the La Habra defense

La Habra's Madison Wheeler brushes off a Wildcat defender during the Higlanders' 31-21 victory at home Friday.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal                   La Habra’s Madison Wheeler brushes off a Wildcat defender during the Higlanders’ 31-21 victory at home Friday.

frustrated another prolific offense Friday night, defeating Redlands East Valley 31-21 to advance to the CIF semifinals.

La Habra took the lead on the opening drive and never relinquished it, thanks to a suffocating defense that forced REV to a three-and-out on all-but two drives in the first half.

The Highlanders took a commanding 24-7 lead into the break, after limiting the Wildcats to just 15 yards on the ground and quarterback Armando Herrera to just 87 yards and one touchdown through the air in the first half.

“We have the best defensive coordinators in the nation, I really believe that,” said linebacker Camron Rivas, the Highlanders leading tackler. “Every week he puts together a great gameplan.”

Just six plays into the game, quarterback Zach Fogel tossed a zero screen to Pervis Henderson, who made one man miss and blazed down the sideline for a 69-yard score.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal          La Habra Quarterback Zach Fogel throws downfield to a receiver.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal                                                  La Habra Quarterback Zach Fogel throws downfield to a receiver.

The next possession saw Fogel toss another zero screen for a big gain. This time it was Derrick Corso taking one 35 yards to set up his eventual score from 11 yards out.

Scoring on the first two drives of the game was all attributed to my coaching, and their ability to come out with a plan that works,” Fogel said. “That’s what our coaches are so good at, they know exactly what to do at what time.”

Fogel to executed an intelligent game plan with quick passes and a lot of read option plays to neutralize two of the best pass rushers in the country, Jaelan Phillips and Aaron House.

“We have a motto, it’s not about who you are playing, it’s about who you are,” Fogel said.

Phillips and House entered the game with a combined 34 sacks. House notched the only sack for the duo all night, but the play was negated by a facemask penalty.

Head coach Frank Mazzotta said afterward that he knew coming into the season that Fogel was a tough kid with a great work ethic, but he has seen his quarterback’s decision making and intelligence on the field steadily improve throughout the season.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal       La Habra sophomore cornerback Kalani Washington launches as Wildcat defender in La Habra's 31-21 win Friday.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal        La Habra sophomore cornerback Kalani Washington launches as Wildcat defender in La Habra’s 31-21 win Friday.

The Highlander defense put the game away for good after forcing turnovers on three consecutive series.

“La Habra always has a good defense, but this team is doing something special,” Fogel said.

Alan Giron sealed the victory with a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown with just under three minutes to play in the third quarter.

Marcus Carrasco blocked a 38-yard field goal attempt and for good measure, Isaiah Alcocer picked off Herrera in the back of the end zone on the Wildcats next two possessions.

Fogel finished the game with 204 yards(190 coming in the first half), and two touchdowns.

Madison Wheeler rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown, while the entire Wildcat team only gained 46 yards on the ground.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal.  La Habra runningback Madison Wheeler pushes off Wildcat defender in La Habra's 31-21 victory over Redlands East Vallet Firday.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal.                  La Habra runningback Madison Wheeler pushes off Wildcat defender in La Habra’s 31-21 victory over Redlands East Valley Firday.

Following the tough loss to Buena Park, Mazzotta pointed out how the team would learn from their defeat and get better. Since then, the Highlanders have played by far their best football of the season.

“A loss doesn’t define us,” Mazzotta added. “One thing the kids do is show up everyday, they work hard and try to get better every day.”

La Habra (8-4) will host the semifinal matchup against Murrieta Valley next Friday at 7 p.m. No. 2 Murrieta Valley (10-2) is coming off 63-34 blowout over St. Bonaventure. No. 14 La Habra is the lowest seed to make the semifinal round in all of CIF.

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Highlanders battle, check Lions off the list

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Highlanders battle, check Lions off the list

Posted on 12 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

Photo by Paul Luna

Photo by Paul Luna — La Habra’s Madison Wheeler pushes through a Lions defender as the Highlanders beat Oaks Christian in CIF playoffs Friday night on the road. Wheeler had 233 yards on 37 carries.

The La Habra football team entered the opening round of CIF in an unfamiliar position, as an underdog on the road, but that didn’t stop the Highlanders from doing what they have done for 18 years under Frank Mazzotta, win CIF playoff games.

 

The Highlanders saved their best showing of the season for when in counted, upsetting No. 3 Oaks Christian 35-28 at Westlake Village Friday night.

In a game that had been blow-for-blow from the onset La Habra found itself on the road, down a score with under four minutes to go.

Trailing 28-21 and facing a 4th-and-7, quarterback Zach Fogel scrambled out of the pocket and made an Aaron Rogers-like jump throw across his body, connecting with Derrick Corso who cut all the way back across the field for a 17-yard score to tie the game with 3:18 to play.

Alex Alcocer continued turning the tide in La Habra’s favor when he picked off Matt Corral on the following possession, setting up the game winning score.

Photo by Paul Luna

Photo by Paul Luna — La Habra Quarterback Zach Fogel looks for an open receiver. The Highlanders beat Oaks Christian on the road Friday in the first round of CIF playoffs.

Fogel took the first snap, read the triple-option perfectly and found Prince Ross wide open in the back of the end zone from 21 yards out to give La Habra the lead with a couple minutes left.

Despite the one score lead, there was still plenty of time left for a Corral led passing attack that had already burned the Highlanders on big plays all game long.

Enter Mr. Corso. Already owning a pair of touchdown catches on offense, the senior shifted his playmaking skills to the defensive side for his third act. On the Lions ensuing drive, Corso picked off Corral at midfield with :45 left to seal the hardfought victory for the Highlanders some 67 miles away from home.

The Highlanders picked off the Corral three times Friday night, which is newsworthy considering the USC commit had only thrown three all season coming into the game. Isaac Soto Morales’ interception just before halftime set up the Highlanders third score.

Madison Wheeler carried the Highlander offense on his back to the tune of 160 yards and a touchdown in the first half. The Lions knew Wheeler was going to get the ball, but just couldn’t stop the two-way workhorse.

Photo by Paul Launa

Photo by Paul Launa — Senior Receiver Prince Ross pulls down a Zach Fogel pass in the end zone for the Highlanders’ go-ahead score against Oaks Christian Friday in Westlake Village.

Wheeler’s dominance running the ball early allowed Fogel to pick the Lions apart in critical situations the rest of the way. He finished with a whopping 233 yards on 37 carries.

Fogel finished with four touchdowns on the night (3 pass, 1 rush), and seemed to make the right decisions all night long.

For the past three weeks, Mazzotta has talked about his quarterback’s steady improvement, pointing out Fogel’s 4.8 GPA and toughness.

Even when the junior quarterback made a mistake, it helped the Highlanders. Fogel’s lone interception came on a 4th-and-long play with nobody open downfield, so it basically amounted to a 20-yard punt instead of a sack or incomplete pass.

Prince Ross caught the go-ahead touchdown pass and had 136 total yards.

La Habra (7-4) will travel about the same distance, but in the opposite direction to play Redlands East Valley (9-2), next Friday at 7:30 p.m. Redlands is coming off a 41-30 opening round win over Great Oak.

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Friars hand Raiders first loss of season

Friars hand Raiders first loss of season

Posted on 11 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

Sonora took a three-point lead into halftime, but senior Kamron Flemming sparked Servite with 12 of his 29 points in the third

Sonora Senior Bryce Rutledge pushes to the basket against Servite’s Devyian Roberson in the Raiders’ 74-59 loss Friday.

quarter to pull away and eventually down the Raiders 74-59 Friday night in Anaheim.

The first half was a dogfight, with neither team extending a lead past three points. The Raiders took advantage of center Austin Carter’s size down low to outpace Servite 33-30 heading into the third quarter. Carter led the Raiders with 14 points in the first half.

“It’s tough because they have four guys who can stroke it from the perimeter on the court at all times,” said Servite Head Coach John Morris. “You kind of have to pick the lesser of two evils, Carter is a great high school player though.

Morris said they made some adjustments at halftime and came out with the gameplan to deny Carter easy looks and disrupt entry passes to him. Servite held Carter to just 6 points the rest of the way.

Sonora struggled from the perimeter in the second half as well, missing a lot of open looks and shots around the basket.

Just as the Raiders went cold, Flemming and the Friars began to heat up, outscoring Sonora 21-8 in the quarter.

With both teams employing full court pressure, the game kept a grueling pace and the Friars looked like the much fresher team late in the game.

Morris utilized frequent substitutions at nearly every position at seemingly every break in the action. While Sonora Head Coach Mike Murphy left three of the five starters on the floor the entire game.

Sonora’s Sean Murphy floats one to the basket Friday night at Servite High School.

“That was all the weight room, we pride ourselves on being in the weight room four times a week year-round,” Morris said. “We

really want to make it like a heavyweight fight and hopefully we can start to wear teams down, especially on the defensive end.”

The Friars (3-1) slowed the game down late fourth and coasted to the double digit victory.

Flemming led all scorers 29 points and added 4 rebounds for the Friars, while Devyian Roberson had a nice game with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists off the bench.

Carter led the Raiders with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. Senior guard Bryce Rutledge finished with 18 points and 5 rebounds.

Sonora (6-1) will look to get back on track on Monday when they take on Downey. Tipoff is at 4:30p.m.

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LH School candidates have a big task ahead

LH School candidates have a big task ahead

Posted on 03 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

*Click on the candidate’s names to watch the interview with them. *

The candidates running for La Habra City School District Board of Trustees have a unique task once they are elected.  They are to hire the district superintendent.  school-board-candidates-2016
Sandi Baltes, Michelle Bernier, John Dobson and Elvira Moreno de Guzman are seeking to fill two positions on the board.  Dobson, the current board president, is seeking re-election to his seat.  The other seat is to fill a vacancy created when Liz Steves moved out of the district.
After Susan Belenardo retired in August, the current board decided not to hire the new superintendent until the new board of trustees was elected and in position.
So, the new board will have to quickly hire the top administrator.

Sandi Baltes

Sandi Baltes

Candidates said that they are looking forward to the opportunity to hire a strong leader for the district.
Baltes, who was a former board member,  expressed the selection of the superintendent as one of the most important things done in years.
“If we pick the right person we can have 20 years of success and if we pick the wrong person we won’t,” she said.

Michelle Bernier

Michelle Bernier

Dobson added that it is a monumental time for the district and that they need to find someone who is a “people person” and who can work with the various groups like teachers, classified, parents and students.
“We all need to be pulling at the rope from the same side,” he said.
Bernier added that strong communication  skills are important for the new superintendent.
Baltes, Dobson and Moreno de Guzman agreed with Bernier that communication on all levels is important as the district moves forward.
Moreno de Guzman added that communication is key for everything in the district.
In addition to the hiring of the superintendent, the candidates all agreed that raising test scores and strengthening educational success of students is a major responsibility for the board.

John Dobson

John Dobson

Baltes and Dobson noted that La Habra City School District was often one of the districts that boasted the highest test scores in the county.  They said that they would like to see the district be  there once again.
Dobson also noted the changing demographics of the community and that the schools need to make sure that they continue to adjust to meet the needs of the students.
Bernier said that test scores are a priority, but also providing more resources for students.  She added that the school district shouldn’t just keep repeating the same things.  They should be able to look at what things are working for other

Elvira Moreno de Guzman

Elvira Moreno de Guzman

districts and see about applying those ideas to the La Habra City School District.
Moreno de Guzman said that it is important for the district to work together to achieve its goals.
All of the candidates shared that ultimately the mission of the school board is to do what’s best in the effort to educate the children in the community.

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Imperial presented a musical donation

Imperial presented a musical donation

Posted on 03 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

When visual and performing arts coordinators across Orange County were asked to identify an inspiring music director who wanted to grow his or her school’s music program, La Habra City School District nominated Ken Hollon, instrumental music teacher from Imperial Middle School

Photos By Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal Smiling musicians: Students of Ken Hollon's Advanced Band class at Imperial Middle School show off some of the new instruments donated to them by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. Hollon's class was chosen to receive the donation because of his dedication to teaching music to students.

Photos By Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal
Smiling musicians: Students of Ken Hollon’s Advanced Band class at Imperial Middle School show off some of the new instruments donated to them by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. Hollon’s class was chosen to receive the donation because of his dedication to teaching music to students.

That request, from the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, came with the promise of a donation of new instruments for the teacher’s instrumental music program.
The Philharmonic Society of Orange County selected five middle schools to receive new instruments intended to supplement their programs and engage more students in music, including Hollon’s program at Imperial.
His school received 15 new instruments, including an alto saxophone, a French horn, five clarinets, four flutes, and four trumpets.
Over the last 12 years Mr. Hollon built the IMS band from just 20 students to over 90 students in beginning, intermediate and advanced band.  In addition, he teaches percussion and world percussion as electives at IMS.
Many students get their first introduction to instrumental band in the After School Band Program that Hollon conducts for fourth and fifth grade students.
Hollon inspires all students to perform at advanced level and high school students often return to volunteer their time and help teach younger students.
“We are truly honored to have been considered for this most generous gift! This will enable us to let more students experience the joys of learning to play musical instruments and help them gain additional character enhancing qualities that come with music education,” said Hollon.
Rita Major, the Director of Education for the Philharmonic Society of Orange presented the new instruments to students and Hollon last week.  Hollon’s Advanced Band students entertained attendees prior to the presentation.

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LH Rotary awards best all around students

LH Rotary awards best all around students

Posted on 03 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jane Williams
La Habra Journal

Every third Thursday of the month during the school year La Habra’s Rotary Club holds its Student of the Month luncheon and meets the outstanding student  and their parents in a particular category from each of the three high schools in the community as selected by the school.

Photo by Jane Williams All around: Whittier Christian's Shiloh Moore, Sonora High School's Charles Best, and La Habra High School's Katherine Schloss were recognized by the La Habra Rotary Club last month.

Photo by Jane Williams
All around: Whittier Christian’s Shiloh Moore, Sonora High School’s Charles Best, and La Habra High School’s Katherine Schloss were recognized by the La Habra Rotary Club last month.

This month the category was best all around student.
Whittier Christian picked Shiloh Moore, whom Principal Carl Martinez characterized as a joy to have as a student in the classroom and around the school. Since along with being a great student, she is also focused, steady, and reliable as well as quietly determine
Shiloh is not only a top student, she is also in her eighth year as a member of Fullerton’s 4-H Club and as well as serving on its executive board. She rides horses in 4-H and is in her third year as junior horse leader. In addition, she also plays tennis and was named Second Team All League Goalie from the school’s  girls soccer team. But that is not all, she also skis competitively on the Far West Alpine Ski Team,  which includes competition in slalom, Super -G, and  giant slalom.
She is applying to Oklahoma University, where she has family, Cal Baptist, and Oklahoma Baptist. With a 3.95 GPA she will undoubtedly spend much of the Spring trying to decide which one to pick.
Sonora had no problem selecting Charles Alex Best, as its top all around student. He recently became an  eagle scout. A quiet student leader, he has taken 17 AP/IB classes and will be an IB diploma candidate this spring. He has been a four-year member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, part of its worship team.  As a junior he was inducted to th National Honor Society.
Recently Alex completed his Eagle Scout project, which involved getting 15 other kids to help him build a portable stage for an elementary school  nursery class as well as instruments small kids could play.   In addition, he donates 170 hours of additional service  as a Boy Scout in the community, qualifying him for the Silver Level President Volunteer service award.
He also, as a sophomore was seeded on one of the school’s top-rated swimming relay teams. The team set a personal record and just missed finishing the win.  What Alex enjoyed most was the team effort and everyone pulling for each member of the relay team.
At the same time he maintains a 3.6 GPA and hopes to pursue a career in engineering or writing about  engineering and science topics at a top notch university.
La Habra chose Katherine Schloss as their top student. In junior high she joined the Fullerton Children’s Repertory Theater and through it she had the chance to travel and perform in Scotland and England. That led her to decide to transfer to La Habra High when she began high school.
There she enrolled in AP Heritage  and became  a committed member of the Theater Group who has performed in a wide range of shows. She has been a Cappies critic for three years and seen two of her reviews published in the OC Register. She was also nominated for best sophomore critic two years ago.
As a senior she is president of NHS and helped launch the Feminists in OC  Club.  She is completing her applications to college and with a 4.68 GPA  and with a motto  “be the change you want to see” she should have her pick of a number of schools.

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Una celebración de la vida y la muerte

Una celebración de la vida y la muerte

Posted on 03 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

Por Genesis Miranda
La Habra Journal

Se acerca noviembre, y ya está por llegar la gran tradición Hispana del día de los muertos, un día especial para recordar y honrar la memoria de nuestros seres queridos que han fallecido.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal Calavera del día de los muertos: El día de los muertos es una tradición donde la comunidad hispana celebra la vida y la muerte con altares, música y comida.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal
Calavera del día de los muertos: El día de los muertos es una tradición donde la comunidad hispana celebra la vida y la muerte con altares, música y comida.

Con música, comida, juegos, altares y misas se celebró el día de los muertos en la parroquia de Our Lady of Guadalupe en La Habra este sábado pasado, 29 de octubre.
Alrededor de la parroquia se escuchaba música mariachi y niños riendo y jugando. En los altares, había familias reunidas rezando por sus seres queridos a quienes les dedicaron en altar.
Este es el segundo año que se celebra esta tradición en la parroquia y se espera que sea una celebración anual.
“Es una parte muy importante durante esta temporada”, dijo el párroco Edward Becker. “Creo que tenemos una buena combinación de música y comida pero la gran atracción es que la gente tiene su fe”.
Él cree que es importante tener eventos tal como este en La Habra porque ya existen tantos eventos parecidos en otras ciudades, y este le da la oportunidad a la comunidad de reunirse en honor a sus fallecidos.
“Estamos celebrando la vida eterna que nuestra fe nos da. Por esa razón es importante celebrar este día”, dijo Becker.
Becker explica que este evento es no solo para las personas que están con nosotros sino también para los que ya han fallecido. “Y en nuestra religión Católica, este es un buen momento para meditar eso”, dijo Becker.
Este evento se llevó a cabo gracias a la ayuda de la comunidad y miembros de la parroquia.
Alba Ramiro, coordinadora de hospitalidad en Our Lady of Guadalupe, ha estado con la parroquia desde 1981.
Ella se ha sido el vínculo entre las comunidades anglosajonas e hispanas.
Entre Ramiro y Becker, al ver la ausencia de un evento del día de los muertos en La Habra, decidieron hacer el primero el año pasado.
“La verdad vemos el día de los muertos como una celebración Cristiana”, dijo Becker.
Ramiro trabaja con Caridades Católicas del Condado de Orange, CCOC por sus siglas en inglés y se encarga de conectar a su parroquia con otras personas.
“Casi todos los que pusieron un altar el día de hoy es porque han perdido a alguien. Todos aquí están celebrando la misma cosa y compartiendo historias”, dijo Ramiro.
Aurora Araiza, residente de La Habra, participo en el evento al crear un altar del día de los muertos dedicado a sus familiares.
Araiza, quien también participó el año pasado, dice que su altar fue dedicado a la memoria de su madre quien falleció hace dos meses. Pero por la mayor parte fue dedicado a varios miembros de su familia.
“A mí me gustó porque realmente no tenemos muchos lugares donde podemos enseñar lo que hacemos en nuestra iglesia”, dijo Araiza. “[El evento] Es en la iglesia y es parte de la iglesia y podemos enseñar nuestras tradiciones”.
Cada altar fue creado con una gran dedicación a la memoria de los familiares de cada persona, decorados con imágenes de los fallecidos, papel picado y velas.
“El día de los muertos celebra nuestra fe Católica, el pasar a la otra vida. Este es un buen lugar para traer a los niños para que tengan una buena imagen de la vida y la muerte”, dijo Becker.
Becker dice que eventos como estos es algo diferente a lo típico de la temporada de Halloween que se trata más de cosas de miedo.
“Cuando han tenido un funeral para un ser querido, regresan aquí y rezan por ellos de un modo especial, y eso tiene un factor de sanación”, dijo Becker.
Becker dice que aunque las celebraciones del día de los muertos son divertidas, también tienen un tono serio como respeto a las personas fallecidas.
El propósito de la parroquia Our Lady of Guadalupe era de reunir a la comunidad y a las familias para rezar por sus seres queridos que fallecieron y recordar su memoria.
Aparte de los altares familiares también hubo algunos altares de parte de grupos de la iglesia.
Por ejemplo, el grupo de misión bíblica, quienes se dedican a estudiar la Biblia, tuvo su propio altar para promover su grupo e invitar a la comunidad.
“Para nosotros es una tradición que nos recuerda a nuestras tradiciones”, dijo José Luis Rodríguez, facilitador del grupo misión bíblica.
El grupo se reúne los lunes de las 6:30 – 8 p.m. en la parroquia de Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“[El evento] Significa una oportunidad más de convivir con la comunidad no solo de la iglesia pero de toda la comunidad”, dijo Ramiro.
No cabe dude que un evento como el día de los muertos es muy especial para la comunidad Hispana.
La parroquia tendrá misa el día primero y segundo de noviembre dedicada al día de los muertos. Incluso mandaron cartas a las familias quienes tuvieron un funeral en la parroquia en el año pasado para que los nombres de los fallecidos se pronuncien en la misa.
El horario se puede encontrar en su página web olglahabra.org

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Community celebrates second annual Dia De Los Muertos event

Community celebrates second annual Dia De Los Muertos event

Posted on 03 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Leonardo Romero
La Habra Journal

Altars commemorating the lives of deceased loved ones surrounded Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic church for the second annual Dia de los Muertos event on Saturday.

A variety of alteras framed the outside of Our Lady of Guadalupe Chatholic Church Saturday. The second annual event celebrates the Mexican tradition of honoring loved ones who have passed away.

A variety of alteras framed the outside of Our Lady of Guadalupe Chatholic Church Saturday. The second annual event celebrates the Mexican tradition of honoring loved ones who have passed away.

The church’s business manager, Scott Miller, and the Hispanic Committee planned and hosted the event under the guidance of Father Edward Becker.
They offered the community the opportunity to reserve a spot on the church’s plaza in order to showcase their altar for $50, and charged $25 if they wanted to reserve a spot on the lawn.
The reservations come with the space, one table, and a roster on recommendations of what to include in your altar, therefore participants are expected to bring their own decorations or can purchase decorations from the event booths.
The committee wanted to keep the event affordable for all families, so they kept the price of food, drinks, carnival games, and crafts at $1 each. The most popular crafts sold were the sugar skulls that people could decorate and place on their altars.
Dia de los Muertos means Day of the Dead in English, and is a Mexican holiday that lands on November 1. It’s celebrated by building altars containing photos of loved ones that have passed away along with various things that they liked.
Altars usually contain plates filled with Mexican sweet bread, which is considered an offering to those who have passed.
This event began when Father Ed  Becker first came to serve as the church’s pastor three years ago, and asked one of the Hispanic Committee’s leading members Alba Ramiro if the city of La Habra held an annual event celebrating Dia de los Muertos. When it came to his attention that there wasn’t one he decided that he would have to start one by hosting it at the church.
“The idea is to bring this tradition of the catholic faith where we celebrate our faithfully departed, and bring it to the church so that people can build an altar,” Ramiro said.
Becker came from a church in Santa Ana that took part in the city of Santa Ana’s annual Dia de los Muertos event, so he wanted to do the same for La Habra. According to Becker, the event has had great cooperation from the city, because the city has assisted by promoting it as a community event.
One of the many altars constructed at the event belonged to La Habra resident Johnnie Miller, and she decided to make her husband, Brooks Miller, the center of the altar.
She displayed photos of her husband throughout different times in his life, and also included a photo of her parents, a photo of his parents, and a poster wishing him a happy 80th birthday.
“It’s fun looking at everyone’s altars, because you see photos of both immediate family and generations displayed along with special things that remind them of those family members,” Miller said.
Every ministry under the Hispanic Committee was asked to create an altar commemorating people from the ministry and loved ones that have passed away. Isabel Avalos attends OLG regularly and belongs to the Guadalupen Society ministry.
“Sometimes people come from Mexico and they forget about their roots and the significance of these celebrations,” Avalos said.  “We’ve come out to celebrate this event because we want the community to know we’re an active church and that we shouldn’t forget about our Mexican roots.”
Becker said he hopes that next year there will be even more people that will know about the event and want to participate in it. The event setup was changed from last year to accommodate more attendees, so he sees this event growing exponentially within the next few years.
“People had a good time,” Becker explained, “and were able to celebrate the lives of their departed loved ones through these altars they built and the stories they told.”

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Local WWII Veteran takes Honor Flight to DC

Local WWII Veteran takes Honor Flight to DC

Posted on 03 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Leonardo Romero
La Habra Journal

Every year Honor Flight Southland takes two trips with around 35 World War II veterans to Washington DC.
This year La Habra resident Ernest Zoeter, 95, went on this unforgettable trip.

Photos by Leonardo Romero/La Habra Journal Honor passenger: La Habra resident and WWII Veteran Ernest Zoeter recently flew to Washinton DC as part of the Honor Flight program that takes veterans to visit the nation's capital and WWII memorial.

Photos by Leonardo Romero/La Habra Journal
Honor passenger: La Habra resident and WWII Veteran Ernest Zoeter recently flew to Washinton DC as part of the Honor Flight program that takes veterans to visit the nation’s capital and WWII memorial.

The trip happened from October 7-9, and his son, Rocky Zoeter, accompanied him as his caretaker.
Honor Flight Southland is one of the newest hubs under the National Honor Flight Network. They primarily deal with WWII veterans residing in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties.
Their first mission was in June 2015, and their most recent trip was the fourth mission.
The entire trip was free of charge for the veterans, but the caretakers were asked for $700 to cover their expenses.
Upon landing in Washington DC the group was taken by buses to the hotel, where they stayed. Throughout the trip the veterans and their caretakers were taken to several museums and memorials including the Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Air Force Memorial, U.S. National World War II Memorial, and the U.S. Navy Museum.
“There weren’t any wartime stories to speak of, because these guys have forgotten all that stuff and I have too,” Ernest Zoeter said. “It was a fantastic trip, and I think the people who put it on should be rewarded in someway.”
The organization provided veterans with gifts as well, which included a mail call package filled with over 50 handwritten letters from people across the United States thanking them for their service.

WWII Veteran Ernest Zoeter stands with his wife Constance in their La Habra home.

WWII Veteran Ernest Zoeter stands with his wife Constance in their La Habra home.

They were also given an official Honor Flight Southland t-shirt that read, “If you can read this thank a teacher, and if you’re reading this in English thank a veteran,” on it.
Zoeter was born in Anaheim on October 17, 1921, and was sent off to war at the age of 21.
He worked in the Navy as a machinist aboard USS Chandeleur AV-10, and was mainly in charge of keeping the auxiliary power units and airplanes running.
He shared how everyone aboard that ship endured constant bombings from the opposing forces on a daily basis. After four years, he eventually returned home to attend Fullerton College where he met his wife, Constance Zoeter.
“After the war there were about 200 girls in the college and 2,000 young men returning from the war, and that’s how we met,” said Constance Zoeter.
Zoeter and his wife moved to La Habra in 1950, and raised two boys and one girl.
Both of them are founding members of the La Habra Old Settlers Historical Society, which is known for establishing the La Habra Historical Museum.
According to Constance Zoeter, she has several medals from her grandchildren that are currently serving in the Army and Air Force, but her husband never received a single medal during his time in the Navy.
That changed recently during his recent trip when the Honor Flight Southland coordinators presented each veteran with a medal thanking them for all they’ve done.
Zoeter will be on hand to join other veterans at La Habra’s annual Veterans Day event
The event takes place November 11 at the La Habra Community Center, and features musical tributes, speeches, and a presentation of thank you letters from local elementary school students to the veterans in attendance.

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