Tag Archive | "community"

LH Heights  ranked Top 10 safest city in the state

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LH Heights ranked Top 10 safest city in the state

Posted on 22 July 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Shanin Thomas
La Habra Journal

(Link added)La Habra Heights – According to a recent analysis, the city of La Habra Heights was ranked tenth on the list of safest cities in California.
The analysis, created by ValuePenguin which is a website that provides visual tools to explain data and research, included the most recent Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Crime Report to determine the safety of California cities. Heights Landscape BW
La Habra Heights is ranked seventh in cities ranging in population from 5,000 to 20,000, ultimately ranking 10th overall.
In order to efficiently rank over 400 California cities, the data collected involved property crimes, like burglary or arson, and violent crimes, like murder or assault.
Almost 100 years ago the city of La Habra Heights was simply an avocado grove. Gradually it has become a charming, secluded area of unique residences.
“It gives me great pleasure knowing that the city of La Habra Heights is recognized as one of the safest cities in California,” said Michael Higgins, La Habra Heights mayor. “The report is only one of the confirmations that the city is moving in the right direction. Our city can never be too safe.”
La Habra Heights does not have sidewalks, curbs, or street lights and most residents often feel comfortable enough to decide not to lock their doors.
Real estate agent and longtime resident, Jan Fiore, said that this may be the exact reason why the city is safe.
She said that the combination of no streetlights, curbs, or sidewalks does not seem inviting to criminals.
“This is not a place where criminals want to be because they cannot get in and out quickly,” she said.
Most residents living within the La Habra Heights boundaries stay for a long amount of time.
Additionally, no two homes in the city of La Habra Heights are the same.
“You can create whatever you want,” Fiore said. Basketball courts, large gardens, horse stables, or anything else a residence may want can be allotted in a home in La Habra Heights, while still being near major cities, schools, and shopping centers.
Higgins and La Habra Heights’ council members said they try to prevent problems within the city before they happen. Still, the mayor believes it is not just one organization or individual that has created such a safe environment.
Organizations, council members, city managers, and volunteers are all accredited to maintain public safety and the quality of living in this unique city, he said.
“It takes good city management and good residents combined. Without everyone working together it does not happen and we are fortunate to have this combination of people,” Higgins said.
Kyle Miller, La Habra Heights Mayor Pro Tem, said that he and the council members tackle their goals of public safety on a day to day basis.
Because the council members have set such high goals, this is not the first time the city of La Habra Heights has been listed as a top city.
According to the California Policy Center, La Habra Heights was named one of the least financially stressed cities in California last year.
Higgins also said that he will be receiving an award on behalf of the city’s accomplishments from the Joint Powers Insurance Agency (JPIA) due to its limiting liability.
He said he is personally satisfied and proud to have accomplished these honors.
“We all try to make this the best place to live,” Higgins said.

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LH builds on moving more and staying healthy

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LH builds on moving more and staying healthy

Posted on 22 July 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Taylor Engle
La Habra Journal

“Move More, Eat Healthy La Habra,” an initiative developed to improve the overall health and living of the La Habra community, has seen great results since its start in November 2014.  The city has collaborated with the La Habra Community Collaborative, local college universities, Whittier PIH, and St. Jude Medical Center to create a five-year plan to develop healthy habits that are easily accessible and affordable to the community.

Photo  by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal Getting fit: As part of the Move More, Eat Healthy campaign and in collaboration with St. Jude Medical Center, the elementary schools, like Ladera Palma pictured here, are building “Fit Rooms” to help battle childhood obesity.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal
Getting fit: As part of the Move More, Eat Healthy campaign and in collaboration with St. Jude Medical Center, the elementary schools, like Ladera Palma pictured here, are building “Fit Rooms” to help battle childhood obesity.

According to last year’s fitness gram, which measures the physical fitness of students in elementary school and junior high, La Habra was ranked as the third worst in Orange County.
“When this collaborative team started out, we voted on three objectives to focus on fixing: teen pregnancy, juvenile crime, and child obesity,” said Executive Director of the La Habra Collaborative Sandi Baltes. “We branched off into teams to focus on each objective, which is how the ‘Move More, Eat Healthy La Habra’ campaign began.”
The campaign has taken off with extraordinary results in La Habra.  Since its start, La Habra has hosted 21 healthy lifestyle classes and 10 community events (three of which took place at schools) to spread the word about healthy living.
The La Habra High School nursing program volunteered at the Citrus Fair and various health fairs passing out forms to encourage residents to commit to certain health and fitness goals for the year. La Habra received 1,776 healthy lifestyle goals from residents.  Additionally, 1,444 residents have participated in the healthy living events and classes.
Thus far, classes have been taught by Baltes, Elite Fitness owner and Collaborative chairman Rebecca French, and local health and nursing college students to educate parents on nutrition while simultaneously providing children with fitness classes.  The classes have been done at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Friends of Family Health Center, the Children’s Museum, and the city’s parks.
Excellent turnout and feedback from the classes encouraged the “Move More, Eat Healthy” campaign to be infused in La Habra’s Summer Youth Program.  The kids’ summer Nutrition Program, available for children ages 4-13, sets goals every week related to exercise, eating the proper amount of fruits and vegetables, drinking enough water, and reading.
“Our main emphasis is literacy, but we always tie it into nutrition,” said Co-director of La Habra’s Parks and Recreation Summer Camp Nutrition Program Cindy Krueger. “One week we were reading a book about a bunny, so then we went to a garden and picked carrots and made smoothies. Our lessons always go hand in hand with nutrition.”
The camp has already seen progress and change in the participating children, who are becoming more aware of making healthy decisions
“We’re starting to see kids choose watermelon as a snack instead of Cheetos,” said Co-director of the program Marie Brown. “The idea of ‘healthy body, healthy mind,’ makes it so important for literacy to be tied in with nutrition.  Our goal is to see more education on nutrition and fitness in schools.”
Along with the progress that has been made for healthy living in a classroom setting is the fitness centers that have been installed at Guadalupe and Montwood Parks.  La Habra was among four cities chosen by St. Jude for health grants.  So far, the city has used the grant to build community gardens for vegetables and fruits, install fitness equipment, and hire a consultant to acquire more grants.
“The city recently received another grant from St. Jude for a traffic plan,” said Recreations Manager David DeLeon. “We’re planning to make adjustments that will allow for more biker and walking paths.”
The collaborators at St. Jude are very impressed with La Habra’s passion and commitment to the health campaign. La Habra has been recognized for two out of three designations with the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) campaign, which recognizes cities in Orange County that adopt healthy eating and living in their community and is in progress for the third.
“I tell other cities about La Habra’s progress,” said St. Jude Healthy Communities Outreach Director Barry Ross. “Our goal is that the healthy choice is the easy choice for residents. La Habra is definitely an example.”
St. Jude Medical Center has record of park usage before the exercise equipment installations and is hoping to see a great improvement over the next few months.  According to surveys conducted by St. Jude, La Habra has a 70% rate of residents who go to their local park at least once a week. The community gardens and equipment are intended to improve that percentage.
“Move More, Eat Healthy La Habra” has seen great influence throughout the community and has even more plans for the future. The University of Health Sciences plans to provide a fitness expo in January 2016 along with other physical training in La Habra parks.  Additionally, there will be a city Variety Show taking place on September 19. Residents are encouraged to contact Martha Lester at (562) 6972762 for more information on participation.
Finally, the healthy campaign encourages readers to make a fitness goal and write to us here at the Journal describing your progress. You can choose one of the following goals: drink more water, eat five fruits or vegetables a day, or exercise 30 minutes a day, or make a goal of your own.  The “Move More, Eat Healthy La Habra” campaign wants to see nothing but progress from residents in their healthy lifestyle decisions.

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PHOTO CONTEST: Getting a different look of our community

Posted on 23 March 2014 by La Habra Journal

There’s something great about photography. Photos can really capture the essence of something and freeze it in time. You can look at the photos on display at the La Habra History Museum and get a glimpse back in time. You can look at your own family photos and recount memories at the time when that photo was captured.
In order to help capture some different perspectives of our community, we launched the community photo competition. This is a way for YOU to share some perspectives of La Habra and La Habra Heights. We have been getting some really great submissions. We are extending the deadline for entries to April 15. Yes, that’s tax time. But perhaps taking some great photos in the community will help be a stress reliever.

Aside from bragging rights for winning or placing in the competition, entries will also:

Receive a ribbon and certificate

Be published in the La Habra Journal

Be part of a display at the La Habra Art Gallery in early August

And other cool prizes.

The idea is to help people see different sights of the community and share them with our readers.

There are various levels of the submissions.  They range from elementary school, junior high/middle school, high school and adults.
Fliers are being sent to the schools to help encourage children in the community to get involved in the contest.  Of course adults from all levels of experience are encouraged to enter as well.

The concept for the contest is simple.  Take photos that fit into the following categories:

Landscape/Nature – Images capturing flora, fauna, landscape highlighting natural elements in our cities.

People/Portraits – Images that capture the human element of life in our communities. Can be single person or multiple people that help illustrate the community.

Life in La Habra and Life in La Habra Heights – Open category that captures the look and feel of each of the two cities. Submission will be for each city in the category.

Photos will be judged on: theme, composition and personality.

Submit no more than TWO entries per category via email to:
contests@lahabrajournal.com

You should include name, city of residence, whatever you are entering and some information about the photos(s) you are submitting

As stated before, the idea of this contest is to get the community involved and help become  a part of showcasing our community.  Let people see the various sights that make up La Habra and La Habra Heights.
So head out and explore the cities.  Take a look at some of the unique aspects that make up our community and photograph it.

Good luck!

—The Editor

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Compounding the community’s need at Central Drugs

Posted on 09 March 2014 by La Habra Journal

By John MacMurray
La Habra Journal

Sure, any pharmacist will give you a lollipop when you pick up your prescription, but Central Drugs can make your prescription into a lollipop. Or a popsicle, a syrup, a gel or just about any form that works best for you.
And that’s because Central Drugs is a compounding pharmacy where the pharmacist can prepare a very specific medication prescribed by a physicianCentral Drugs for a patient’s individual needs. It’s one of only a handful that remain in Orange County.
According to Central Drugs Marketing Manager Mark Leonard, Central Drugs’ methods represent a kind of “back to the future” approach. Up until the 1950s or 1960s, he explained, all pharmacies were compounding pharmacies. Then when mass-produced medicines in standard doses became more widely used, the pharmacists’ roles were downgraded. They went from being the folks who prepared your medicines to being just dispensers of “one-size-fits-all” medications.
This loss of compounding skills, of course, was not good for many patients, since it meant that their needs were not being met, Leonard explained.  “Think of it like having a pair of shoes custom made for your feet, compared with forcing your feet to fit mass-produced shoes.”
The pharmacists at Central Drugs, will craft your prescription precisely to your needs (and literally to your taste), and let you watch while they do it. Their state-of-the-art compounding lab is right on the premises. So if you want, you can watch while the prescriptions for the two and four-legged customers are blended.
Four-legged? Many veterinarians use Central Drugs’ compounding skills when they need custom-made medication for their four-legged patients. Just as with people, sometimes conventional medication is not available in the right dosage, form or strength.
A La Habra neighborhood pharmacy since 1954, Central Drugs has been under the guidance of Dr. Nayan Patel since 1999. Stressing patient care, education, and involvement in their own wellness efforts, Dr. Patel and his staff of 60 pharmacists and technicians provide online information, small-group seminars and personal consultation at both their La Habra store, and the new Fullerton store.
Their comprehensive and interactive website also lets you fill prescriptions online, from your computer, your iPhone or Android.
Whatever your needs, Dr. Patel and his friendly staff are ready to help you on your journey to wellness in English, Spanish, Indian, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Chinese.
Ever wonder what the “Rx” symbol means? The one you see on pharmacies and pill bottles? Good question! But no real agreement on the answer. Some authorities say it’s a Latin abbreviation for recipe; literally, “take this.”
Others say the “R” is really an eye! Since Horus was the ancient Egyptian god of medicine, goes the argument, the Rx symbol is the “Eye of Horus” and is watching over your medicine’s preparation.
But, Egyptian or Latin, Central Drugs’ careful eyes are watching out for your health.

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City looks for new Depot tenant

Posted on 24 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

It has been nearly a year since the lights faded on the last production at the La Habra Depot Theater. Since then, Whittier Christian students have cleaned, painted and organized the city-owned facility, but it has remained empty.
However, the city is looking to find an occupant for the city’s iconic theater. LH-Depot-Thrater__P1
“We’d like to get someone in there who will work with the community and offer the community some great  shows,” said David De Leon, La Habra’s Recreation Manager.
DeLeon explained that the city is currently accepting applications and proposals from local theater groups to operate the historic, 135-capacity venue and produce quality shows on a regular basis.
Interested groups are encouraged to submit a proposal to the Recreation Department by Thursday, March 6, at 4 p.m.
Application packets can be picked up by contacting David De Leon at (562) 384-4306.
As for what they are looking for in a future tenant, aside from professionalism and ability to manage and run shows from beginning to end, De Leon said he is hoping that the new people look to incorporate the community more, such as having children’s theater programs and working with the three local high schools.
The previous, all-volunteer group that operated the theater, had difficulty raising money and were unable to pay its bills, so the city terminated its contract with the group last March. City officials are hopeful that the next group that comes in will be more successful.
The historic building was built in 1908 as the Pacific Electric Depot to haul citrus fruit as well as the walnuts growing in the southern part of the valley. The railroad was also used to haul equipment to the newly-developed oil lands in this area. It was renovated into a Community Performing Arts Facility in 1909 and moved across Euclid to Portola Park.

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Annual Santa Cause car show kicks off season

Posted on 19 December 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jennifer Nguyen
La Habra Journal

Classic vehicles—from the 1957 Pontiac Star Chief to the 1939 Ford Roadster—overtook the CVS Pharmacy Distribution Center in La Habra Sunday for the 3rd Annual Santa Cause Classics & Customs for Kids Car & Bike Show.DSC_0837
More than 200 cars, motorcycles, bicycles and trucks rolled into the lot at 9 a.m., kicking off the car show, which was hosted by the La Habra Host Lions Club. The event was popular among antique lovers and car enthusiasts, but it was also one of the largest fundraisers the La Habra Host Lions Club puts on each year.
All proceeds from sponsors, vendors, participants, contests and other sales will help buy iPads that will be donated to La Habra City Schools to benefit third to fifth grade students. Pajamas, socks and undergarments that show attendees donated will go directly to local children who have been taken into social service agencies. All toys and food is given to the city to help with Operation Santa.
Attendees also participated in silent auctions, bidding on items such as SmartWax products, treat baskets and a dinner for four at the La Habra Pasta Fest.
Actor Lorenzo Lamas and his wife Shawna made celebrity guest appearances at the car and bike show.
The couple was invited to the event by Liz Steves, event coordinator of the car and bike show, who also happened to help decorate the Lamas’ family home for the HGTV show “Celebrity Holiday Homes.”

Award winner: LH Heights Mayor Roy Francis accepts his trophy for Best of Show from actor Lorenzo Llamas. Francis won for his 1928 Ford.

Award winner: LH Heights Mayor Roy Francis accepts his trophy for Best of Show from actor Lorenzo Llamas. Francis won for his 1928 Ford.

Lamas, who has starred in “Grease” as well as television shows “Falcon Crest,”  “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and “Renegade,” also auctioned off his Harley Davidson Christmas tree, as seen in a recent episode of HGTV’s “Celebrity Holiday Homes,” in which Lamas and his family are featured.
“Shawna and I are very happy to be here today,” he said. “It’s nice to be part of a charity where we can help some children’s Christmases be joyful. They now don’t have to go through Christmas without getting any presents. This time of year is really about giving, and I think it’s important that we all give as much as we can to charity.”
There were also many food and shopping vendors on the lot selling jewelry, clothing, toys, popcorn and sports merchandise. Princess Jarbie, owner of Princess Craft Boutique, had knitted and crocheted items on display for purchase, like dolls and stuffed animals.
“It’s my first time here, and I plan on coming back next year,” said Jarbie. “Maybe my husband will bring his car.”
Vintage Wheel Works, which specializes in manufacturing wheels for muscle cars, was also present. They have been in La Habra for more than a year after having spent 10 to 15 years in Whittier. The company, owned by Rusty Conrad, has also taken part in major car shows in the past, such as the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
“We’re sort of a new resident to La Habra as far as business goes, so we figured we’d come out and do what we can to support the community,” said Conrad.
La Habra’s very own Wooden Nickel Band provided live entertainment throughout the day with rock and classic pop hits, including their cover of The Drifters’ “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

British motoring: John McGovern stands with his 1952 MG TD decorated for the Santa Cause event.

British motoring: John McGovern stands with his 1952 MG TD decorated for the Santa Cause event.

Tom Heyman and his team from Elite Fitness performed a traditional Japanese karate-do demonstration for spectators, which included breaking boards.
Pulling up in a classic Chevy Corvette, Santa Claus made an appearance at the event as well, handing out mini candy canes and taking photos with children.
At the end of the day, many registered car owners received awards in a variety of categories for their displayed vehicles.
Several winners were also La Habrians themselves, including Gary Cushing, who was awarded in the Red Hot Ride category for his 1931 Ford Roadster. Wanda Jacobs took home the trophy in “Hot Chick, Hot Ride” for her 1962 Nova Convertible. Steve and Irene Simonian won second place in “Most Holiday Themed” for their red 1957 Chevrolet half-ton pickup truck.
And La Habra Heights mayor Roy Francis and his wife Judy both took home the “Best of Show” award for their all-steel 1928 Ford Sedan.
“The success of this event was primarily our business community who came together and gave us monetary sponsorships,” said Steves. “And of course, we could not do this event without the CVS facility. There’s no way, no how. And thirdly, there was no way this event could have been done without the car culture of Southern California.”DSC_0748

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Operation Santa__153

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Operation Santa helps La Habra families in need

Posted on 19 December 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Christina Ledesma
La Habra Journal

The annual Operation Santa program sparked the holiday spirit in more than 350 families in need at the La Habra Community Center Saturday.

Spirit of giving : Chickens and frozen food were among the hundreds of pounds of food given out to La Habra families Saturday at Operation Santa.

Spirit of giving : Chickens and frozen food were among the hundreds of pounds of food given out to La Habra families Saturday at Operation Santa.

Toys and food were distributed during the event’s comfortable atmosphere where local families had fun and enjoyed themselves in spite of their circumstances. Children’s faces lit up with smiles and laughter as they enjoyed food, games, face painting, arts and crafts and a visit from Santa Claus. The family-friendly event was made possible through donations from various local businesses and help from many volunteers.
Melissa Rosales, 18, and her sister were just one of the many families attending the event. Rosales explained that her grandmother is unable to walk so she came in her place to pick up toys for her younger sister. Rosales has been coming to Operation Santa since she was 15 years old.
“I like how they’re spending the time and bringing families together, and giving toys for Christmas because not everyone may have the money for toys,” Rosales said.
Councilmember Jim Gomez was also present at the event to support the community.
“This is my fifteenth year, and I always get so emotional to see the smiles on their faces and how blessed these individuals are when they receive their gifts,” said Gomez. “It’s a blessing to see our community give back to those in need.”
The Friends of Family Health Center is one of the many partners of Operation Santa. During the event, they had an outreach and informational booth set up to inform the community about Covered California.

Nice toss:  Children were able to play games and win prizes provided by FreedomHouse Church at the city’s Operation Santa event on Saturday in the parking lot of the Community Center.

Nice toss: Children were able to play games and win prizes provided by FreedomHouse Church at the city’s Operation Santa event on Saturday in the parking lot of the Community Center.

David De Leon, the recreation manager for La Habra, said that Operation Santa is about 25 years old. De Leon has been involved with the event for the past 15 years.
“When I came here to the city, I was asked to run this event, and what I did was restructure the infrastructure by bringing in some of the local business partners,” De Leon said.  “So today is the fruits of the work we did a number of years ago.”
FreedomHouse Church also partnered up with La Habra. They have been involved with Operation Santa for the past four years. Their numerous volunteers set up craft and game booths at the event and also handed out prizes to children.
Social Services Manager Josie Anderson is responsible for working directly with the local school districts for this event. The schools create a list of students and families so they can identify the families who need help during the holiday season.
“They give a list of all of the families that maybe need some help this year and they give that to her and she creates a database. And we all work towards getting the toys and the food,” De Leon explained.

Proud artist: Carlie Lopez, 4, of La Habra holds up the artwork she created at the arts and crafts tables while at Operation Santa on Saturday.

Proud artist: Carlie Lopez, 4, of La Habra holds up the artwork she created at the arts and crafts tables while at Operation Santa on Saturday.

This year, De Leon worked with the La Habra Chamber of Commerce, La Habra Business Connection, La Habra AYSO and the Northgate Market. They each donated about $500 to the program, which was used to purchase 600 pounds of beans and 600 pounds of rice for the families in need.
De Leon added that he was pleased with the  turnout and the support from the community for Operation Santa. “The one thing that we’ve been very proud of is that we’ve been able to help out a lot of families that needed help,”

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LHHIA working to improve the Heights for 75 years

Posted on 19 December 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Lauren Davis
La Habra Journal

For 75 years now, the La Habra Heights Improvement Association has been a community organization dedicated to the residents of La Habra Heights.
The LHHIA is a group of volunteers interested in creating a community atmosphere in La Habra Heights by sponsoring events that bring residents together, said Pam McVicar, secretary of the LHHIA.
According to the LHHIA website, the association began in 1938 after five La Habra Heights residents came together to reorganize the association. Originally, the association worked towards agricultural betterment, improved roads and roadside planting of different shrubs.
However, when La Habra Heights became a city in 1978, the group became involved in zoning, land division requirements, roads, safety matters and fire protection.
McVicar added that around the same time, the association also pulled away from any political involvement, and instead focused on serving the community by sponsoring community events and publication of the Heights Life, the LHHIA magazine. The Heights Life magazine is a monthly magazine that is published 11 months out of the year and is given to each household.
In 2010, the association became a non-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization that approximately half of the households in La Habra Heights are members of.
“The association has nothing to do with planning or permitting,” McVicar said. “It (the association) is completely separate from the city.”
McVicar said that annual dues to the association are voluntary, and start from $35 a year to $500 a year.
“We send out a dues notice to the city every year, and roughly half of the community pays dues,” McVicar said.
She explained that community members usually pay dues because they enjoy what the association is doing for the community.
Funding for the association’s many annual events come from community dues, donations, sponsorships and advertising in the Heights Life magazine.
Some events include Concerts in the Park that take place during the summer, Easter egg hunts, Halloween Haunt at the park on Halloween and other miscellaneous events like barn dances and movie nights in the park.
Dues have also gone towards projects like re-roofing the gazebo in the park and planting of trees in the park.
The Concert in the Park, one of the largest events during the summer, began 25 years ago by a couple named Claire and Paul Spothelfer.
Claire Spothelfer explained that when they lived in Downey, they enjoyed the concerts in the park very much, and when they moved to La Habra Heights, they felt it was wise to begin their own.
“When we moved here, we noticed that they had a beautiful park, but hardly anyone used the park,” Spothelfer said.
She explained that in 1988, she and her husband began planning and brought the idea to city council members.
“They said we needed a venue for the concerts, and my husband is a building contractor, so we proposed building a gazebo in the park,” said Spothelfer.
She added that her husband, along with community volunteers, helped build the gazebo that is still there today.
“We started out just having a…few hundred people attend,” she said. “Now it has grown to thousands that attend.”
For more information, please visit: www.lhhia.org

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Gary Center offers free legal services

Posted on 21 November 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Lauren Davis
La Habra Journal

It’s time for some “law and order” in La Habra. The Gary Center can now add legal services to its wide range of free community programs offered to the public.
Diana Lopez, the owner of the Law Offices of Diana Lopez in Orange, is currently offering free legal clinics at the Gary Center on the first and third Friday of every month, from 10 a.m. until noon.
Lopez began the clinics last month, with a majority of services surrounding family law, landlord and tenant issues, small businesses, labor and employment issues, and personal injury. The legal clinics are meant to offer advice and information about how to deal with any legal issues a person may be having. The clinics are one-on-one, and approximately six people are seen during the two-hour period.
Jorge Montoya, the assistant executive director at the Gary Center, said that before Lopez volunteered her time, there was a large need for legal services at the Gary Center.
“We would get paperwork from the county for child support [and] welfare, and we would help them a lot,” Montoya said. “Within that crowd, people would also ask for lawyers for things like being sued by their landlord and other related issues.”
He added that since a majority of the Gary Center visitors are Spanish speaking, they needed to find an attorney who was bilingual. Lopez fit that need.
Lopez said that she began the legal clinics after a staff member from the Gary Center contacted her office for advice on a woman’s case.
“It was a labor and employment situation where she (the woman) was being mistreated at work,” Lopez said. “I was just inspired by her (staff member), and how she was going out of her way to that extent to really try and get this woman some help.”
She added that the goal behind the legal clinics is to give the community an opportunity to understand how to deal with any and all types of legal issues.
“This access to information is paramount, since a lot of people will either ignore legal issues or hope they go away on their own,” Lopez said. “Being able to get that information or have that question answered is a huge relief for many people.”
Diana Lopez has been a practicing attorney since 2009, and specializes primarily in the areas of labor and employment, and personal injury. She also serves on the Board of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association as its president-elect.
For more information, please visit: garycenter.org.

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LH residents help clean up community one house at a time

Posted on 07 November 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jennifer Nguyen
La Habra Journal

The La Habra Lions and Leos came together Saturday morning to help a local family by cleaning and fixing up the yards.

 Photos by Jennifer Nguyen/La Habra Journal Pitching in: Members of La Habra Little League took part in the monthly community cleanup project last week. The project, sponsored by the La Habra Lions, helps needy residents take care of their homes.

Photos by Jennifer Nguyen/La Habra Journal
Pitching in: Members of La Habra Little League took part in the monthly community cleanup project last week. The project, sponsored by the La Habra Lions, helps needy residents take care of their homes.

The cleanup effort was coordinated by Randy McMillan, Lion member and community volunteer, and it is part of the La Habra Community Partner Project. The project consists of about 100 members and volunteers who come out to help renovate and tidy up people’s homes and yards every fourth Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.
For this October cleanup, the focus was on a La Habra man who suffered a brain aneurysm a few years ago, which left him blind. This prevented him and his family from caring for their yard. That’s when the Lions, Leos and other volunteers from within the community stepped in.
“He was at the prime of his life, and things got a little bit out of control,” said McMillan. “He couldn’t take care of it himself. He kind of fell behind.”
McMillan has a series of equipment  for the cleanups, stored in a shed, so when people need help fixing up their property, volunteers are always prepared and ready to go. This past Saturday, volunteers were armed with brooms, cutters, rakes and gloves before being put in teams. Most of the Leos took care of the front yard, raking leaves, pulling weeds and sweeping the walkways.
Tabitha White, who recently joined the La Habra Leos, picked the weeds and cleaned away some small shrubs.
“It feels pretty good to be here this morning,” she said. “It’s actually kind of fun too because this is my first time doing this.”
In the backyard, where the majority of the Lions were, people also pulled weeds, raked leaves, cut and pruned trees, filling bag after bag. A few members cleaned the windows of the family’s home as well.
Jessie Coffman, who has participated in other work parties with the Lions Club, said she was hoping to achieve a clean yard and a happy family at the end of the day.
“I’ve raked, pruned and drove back to my house to get more stuff,” she said. “It’s such a good, rewarding experience.”

Diggin’ it: Community volunteer and Lion member Angela Presentadi helps clear weeds at a La Habra home Saturday as part of the monthly community cleanup project.

Diggin’ it: Community volunteer and Lion member Angela Presentadi helps clear weeds at a La Habra home Saturday as part of the monthly community cleanup project.

Frank Felix, another volunteer and president of the Lions Club, also hoped to get this home back “to how it should be” and put a smile on the man’s face.
“A lot of us are neighbors of his up here,” he said. “It’s always good to help someone in the community who needs our assistance.”
Freddy Garcia, junior advisor of the Leo Club, stood on the roof of the family’s garage sweeping down the pine needles.
“We know we’re doing a good thing helping the guy out,” said Garcia. “Cleaning up his house and making sure he has a good place to live feels good.”
The La Habra Little League team came out to do their part as well, and many players were on the hill in the backyard clearing away fire hazards such as dry grasses, leaves and brush.
Doug Inman, whose oldest son is the coach of the winter baseball team from LHLL, said the man’s children used to play on the team about three years ago. When the team heard about the community coming together to help the family, they decided to come out and lend a hand instead of attending baseball practice.
“Amazingly enough, all the kids on the team showed up, except for two people. Eleven kids were here,” he said.
Inman said he believes the kids got a sense of accomplishment out of their volunteering efforts.
“I think it’s a good experience we did this for them, so they understand life is not just about playing baseball and your Xbox,” said Inman. “It’s also about helping your community out, so I think that’s what we tried teaching them today,”
By the end of the day, the front yard was clear of weeds and leaves; the soil was also covered in landscaping bark mulches. The backyard and hills were clean of dry brushes and pine needles, the lawns were mowed and the grounds were swept clean of dirt and soil. There were at least 100 bags of pine needles, shrubs, leaves and trash.

Teamwork: La Habra Host Lions, Leos, Little Leaguers, and residents volunteered to clean up a home last Saturday as part of the ongoing community cleanup project.

Teamwork: La Habra Host Lions, Leos, Little Leaguers, and residents volunteered to clean up a home last Saturday as part of the ongoing community cleanup project.

“That’s why we’re here, to serve the community. It doesn’t make any difference whether you’re on this side of town or the other side of town. We’re here to help,” said McMillan. “The idea is to let people know that this is a community event, and this helps put shine on the community.”
The Lions Club has previously taken the Community Partner Project to the Boys & Girls Club, the Gary Center and the HBIC (Help for Brain Injured Children).

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