Archive for November 12, 2013

‘Ciderfest’ cometh Nov. 16

Have a passion for cider?
Then make plans to attend the Whittier Hills Uptown Ciderfest 2013 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the WHBC Uptown Church, 6712 Bright Ave. in Whittier.
The free event for all ages will feature pies and, of course, cider.

It is sponsored by Phlight Restaurant, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

For more information call 562-947-4791 or visit


New technology at Whittier City Hall

WHITTIER – There’s new technology lurking at City Hall.

“AccessWhittier” is a new mobile phone application for iPhone, iPad and Android to help residents report issues on the go and tap into local government around the clock.

A wide variety of issues, such as potholes that need filling, abandoned shopping carts which need to be picked up, graffiti that needs removing, street lights out, and property maintenance issues in your neighborhood, can now be reported using iPhone, iPad or Android smart phones.

Smart phone users simply open the application, select an issue, take a picture, and tap submit – the application identifies the exact location and sends the issue directly to the appropriate city staff member. That staff member then addresses the matter, though in some cases the fix or repair for larger items may need to be added to the city’s work program so it is accomplished as funding is available.

“Our residents told us they also wanted smart phone convenience with the ability to report issues to us whenever or wherever they prefer,” noted Mayor Bob Henderson. “This technology will improve our efficiency, which is very important with our tight budget.”

The GPS and camera features built into the iPhone and Android smart phones make it simple for residents to alert officials about issues around the clock while they’re mobile. Residents will know their issue went to the right person without ever going to an office or sitting down at a computer or making a phone call during business hours, and they can also receive status updates on the issue they report.

This efficiency allows the city to improve customer service with fewer people on staff.

The smart phone applications can be downloaded by searching for “GORequest” in the Apple App store or Google Play store. There is no charge to download the application.

AccessWhittier is also available to Windows phones and other mobile devices by browsing a mobile version of the city web site to access services at

The smart phone application joins the city’s new e-Newsletters and public Wi-Fi system as the latest additions in the city’s efforts to enhance communication, transparency, and efficiency. Residents can register to receive one or all of the city’s E-Newsletters, emailed regularly to update the public on city events and issues.

The public wireless network is now active at City Hall and allows wireless access in all public areas to help visitors conduct business at public counters and present information at meetings.

“AccessWhittier is another step in the City Council’s efforts to make local government more transparent and efficient,” Henderson said. “We invite the community to connect with us and report issues they see to keep our community attractive and safe.”

More information about AccessWhittier, e-Newsletters, and public Wi-Fi is available at and at the city’s IT Division at (562) 567-9870.


U.S. Marine Mendez pays visit to Ceres Elementary

Iraq, Afghanistan trooper reads Pledge of Allegiance in honor of Veterans Day

United State Marine Corps. Staff Sgt. Vincent Mendez Jr. stands with Ceres Elementary School kindergartener Vincent Mendez III as Principal Julie Gonzalez addresses her students on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 at the East Whittier School District campus in honor of Veterans Day. -Tim Traeger/

Ceres Elementary students raise their American flags on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, in honor of Veterans Day. Marine Staff Sgt. Vincent Mendez Jr. was on hand to lead the 450 students in the Pledge of Allegiance. -Tim Traeger/

By Tim Traeger
EAST WHITTIER – About 450 Ceres Elementary School students got to celebrate Veterans Day a few days early when U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Vincent Mendez Jr. paid a visit to their campus.
Mendez, in full-dress uniform, came with his son and Ceres kindergartener Vincent Mendez III, to welcome the kids to class on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, and formally read the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mendez, 32, a Marine recruiter in Anaheim who has served tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq, told the festive audience, each holding a miniature American flag, that remembering the people who protect our freedoms is important.
“I’m here to lead the students in the Pledge of Allegiance, and to instill in the students the importance of Veterans Day,” Mendez said. He’s served his country for nearly 12 years and plans to make the Marines a career.
Ceres Principal Julie Gonzalez told her students it was an honor for Mendez to visit.
“Today is special to us. On Monday, you do not have school. We are celebrating a very important holiday which is Veterans Day. Veterans Day is a wonderful day when we commemorate all of our men and women who have served in the armed forces,” Gonzalez said. “We have several parents who serve in the armed forces. It could be your parents, your uncles, your grandparents. I particularly have my brother who has served in the Army for over 30 years. It’s a very special day for many of us.
“I want you to pay special attention to your teachers. I know many of you have been reviewing what Veterans Day is and how it came about. It’s a really important and very special event for all of us,” she said.
And for Mendez, the best part of being a Marine?
“The pride,” he said. “For me being a United States Marine is very important. It makes me really proud to know I can protect my family and children like you guys. To be able to go to school … I just want to thank you guys for being good citizens.”
Tim Traeger is former editor of the Whittier Daily News. You can reach him at or by phone at 626-646-7352.

Thanksgiving holiday food drive

Gregory S. Siegel, D.C. and Kirk Doty DD, LAc., are teaming up to host a Thanksgiving holiday food drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

The firm offers chiropractic, acupuncture and chair massages and are donating their services for food and/or cash donations that will benefit Canning Hunger. Space is limited and advance reservations are required.

New patients are asked for two bags of food or a minimum $20 donation. Current patients are asked to bring one bag of food or a minimum $10 donation.

To reserve your spot, call 562-945-1310 or visit the office at 13710 E. Whittier Blvd., Suite 105, Whittier, CA. 90605.

Find out more on Facebook at WhittierChiropracticAcupuncture
or visit

High school prep football roundup

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By Eric Terrazas

Staff Writer


PICO RIVERA – On a night it honored its senior players and remembered its legendary former coach, El Rancho High School turned in one of its best performances on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.

The host Dons, lifted by a dominating second-half showing, delivered a 45-13 Del Rio League victory over Santa Fe. After trailing 13-10 at halftime, El Rancho scored 35 unanswered points in the second half. Three of the Dons’ five second-half touchdowns were produced by the defense.

El Rancho, which improved to 6-3 overall and 4-0 in league play, will next play La Serna (7-2, 4-0) on Thursday, Nov. 7 at California High School. The winner of the 7 p.m. game will capture the Del Rio League crown.

Before the game, a ceremony honoring longtime El Rancho coaching great Ernie Johnson took place. Johnson, who died in September, posted a record of 108-31-5 while coaching the Dons from 1956 to 1968. Johnson’s widow, Vicki, was present at the ceremony.

The El Rancho defense helped fuel the second-half surge by recovering a Santa Fe fumble at the Chiefs’ 40-yard line. The Dons quickly took advantage as senior quarterback Ryan Araujo scored on a 15-yard run that gave El Rancho a 17-13 lead.

After forcing Santa Fe to punt, El Rancho took possession at its 9-yard line and put together an impressive 17-play, 91-yard drive that culminated with senior running back Aaron Escareno’s 3-yard scoring run.

The Dons’ defense, armed with a 24-13 advantage, would then put the game away by scoring the game’s last three touchdowns.

El Rancho senior defensive back Andy Alaniz started the onslaught when he intercepted Santa Fe quarterback Christian Lara’s pass and returned it 37 yards for a score.

Araujo followed by returning an interception 57 yards for a touchdown, giving the Dons a 38-13 lead with 11 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Junior defensive back Robert Robledo closed the game’s scoring when he returned a Santa Fe fumble 60 yards for a score.

After the teams traded field goals, Robledo put the Dons ahead 10-3 when he scored on a 96-yard kickoff return during the first quarter.

The Chiefs then grabbed a 13-10 lead in the second quarter. After Lara’s 68-yard scoring pass to Andrew Takata, Alex Moreno made a 35-yard field goal with 1:32 remaining before halftime.

Santa Fe (5-4, 2-2) will look to rebound against California (4-5, 2-2) in the Friday, Nov. 8 regular season finale for both teams. Sole possession of third-place, along with an automatic CIF-Southern Section playoff berth, is at stake. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

In other Del Rio League action:

La Serna 56, Whittier 7

The Lancers maintained a share of first place by dominating the Cardinals (3-6, 0-4).

Senior quarterback Frankie Palmer helped lead the way for La Serna, completing 10 of 13 attempts for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Palmer also contributed with his legs, running for 112 yards and a score on nine carries.

La Serna will look to capture its second consecutive league crown Thursday against El Rancho.

Whittier closes its regular season against Pioneer (3-6, 0-4) on Friday, Nov. 8. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. at California High.

California 27, Pioneer 6

The Condors kept their playoff hopes alive by delivering a win Oct. 31 over Pioneer. California closes its regular season Friday against Santa Fe.


Cathedral 39, St. Paul 14

A disappointing season continued for St. Paul (1-8, 1-3), which dropped a Nov. 1 home game against the Phantoms (6-3, 1-3).

The Swordsmen will conclude their regular season Friday, Nov. 8 against first-place Serra (9-0, 4-0). Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul.


Maranatha 34, Whittier Christian 24

Whittier Christian’s title hopes were dashed when it fell at first-place Maranatha (7-2, 3-0).

The Nov. 1 game closed league play for the Heralds (5-4, 2-2), who will finish the regular season Friday, Nov. 8 with a 7 p.m. nonleague game against Cerritos (2-7) at Whittier College.


Whittier area sports briefs for Nov. 6, 2013

Youth wrestling

The city of Whittier offers a youth wrestling class for youngsters ages 5 to 18.

The Saturday program is slated from Nov. 9 to Dec. 14, at Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Ave. Children ages 5 to 12 will participate from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., followed by youngsters ages 13 to 18, who will wrestle from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The fee for both programs is $59 for residents and $69 for nonresidents.

For more information, call 562-567-9430 or visit

Adult basketball

The Uptown Whittier YMCA, 12510 Hadley St. in Whittier, offers a Sunday afternoon 5-on-5 men’s basketball league.

The league is scheduled to start on Sunday, Nov. 17.

For more information, call 562-907-6530.

Swim instruction

Monthly swim lesson sessions are available at both the Uptown Whittier YMCA, 12510 Hadley St., and the East Whittier YMCA, 15740 Starbuck St.

Four-week sessions are available during afternoons and evenings Monday through Thursday, and on Saturday mornings.

For a schedule and more information, call the Uptown Whittier YMCA at 562-907-6530 or the East Whittier YMCA at 562-943-7241.

Tai Chi for seniors

Ongoing Tai Chi classes are open to ages 55 and over.

The Whittier Senior Center, 13225 Walnut St., offers a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday session while Parnell Park Activity Center, 15390 Lambert Road, hosts a Friday class.

The fee for each session is $3.

For more information, call 562-567-9430 or visit

Tae kwon do

Uptown Whittier YMCA, 12510 Hadley St. in Whittier, offers tae kwon do classes for ages 3 to adult.

Instructors place strong emphasis on self-discipline and building self-esteem. They will teach how to use strength effectively, maintain cardiovascular fitness, improve flexibility and coordination, as well as tone the muscular system.

For class times and more information, call 562-907-6530.

Martial arts

East Whittier YMCA Impact Martial Arts program offers several classes at 15740 Starbuck St. in Whittier.

Classes are available for all ages and levels of experience. Impact Martial Arts and Fitness is staffed by professional and experienced instructors who have dedicated their lives to sharing the power of martial arts with the community.

For class times and more information, call 562-943-7241.

Chair fitness for seniors

Chair fitness encourages health and fitness for active people or those whose physical condition, restricted mobility, or age limits their participation in conventional forms of exercise.

The free ongoing class, open to ages 55 and over, requires no registration. Sessions are scheduled from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Parnell Park Activity Center, 15390 Lambert Road, and from 9 to 9:45 a.m. at Whittier Senior Center, 13225 Walnut St. Both classes are slated for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. No class is scheduled for Nov. 11, Nov. 29, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, 2014.

For more information, call 562-567-9430 or visit


Pro-gender restrooms are an abomination

Dear Friends,

Video: For the last few weeks, you’ve been hearing about our clients in Colorado who are encountering first-hand the horrors of pro-transgender bathroom policies in schools. Now, for the first time, you can hear these families in their own words in a short but powerful video.

By Brad Dicus

President, Pacific Justice Institute

As we are now in the crucial final days of signature-gathering for the AB 1266 referendum, it’s important to see what we can expect if we don’t do everything in our power to stop radicals from throwing open the doors of our kids’ school bathrooms and locker rooms to anyone who “identifies” with that gender.

After watching this video, we trust you will be as motivated as we are to gather and turn in a few more signatures to prevent this same scenario from playing out in schools across California. To download petitions, head to, the coalition we have been working with to protect our students.

Friends, PJI has been getting hammered in transgender-friendly websites, and the hate mail we’ve been getting in our defense of these Colorado families and the AB 1266 referendum has been unbelievable. Activists are unleashing their heavy artillery on us because they know we are exposing the shocking realities of what happens when we allow biologically male teenagers to freely enter girls’ bathrooms.

Would you consider helping us fight for these families with a special gift this month? The eyes of the nation are on us, because if we don’t make a strong stand, these policies will soon be popping up in every part of the country.

Thank you for standing with us! These families deserve our full support.

Running the Race,

Brad Dacus

President, Pacific Justice Institute


Get some laughs at Rio Hondo College

Rio students to host comedy night

Proceeds to benefit Wounded Warrior Project, American Legion

WHITTIER – The Rio Hondo College Veterans Club will present its Sixth Annual Comedy Night at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 in the College’s Wray Theater, 3600 Workman Mill Road.

The event, for mature audiences, will feature comedians who are also veterans. The Veterans Club’s annual fundraising event will benefit the nonprofit organizations Wounded Warrior Project and American Legion Post 272.

General admission tickets are $10 presale and $15 at the door.

Since its establishment in 2008, the Rio Hondo College Veterans Service Center has served more than 4,000 veterans and eligible dependents from five branches of the United States Armed Services annually.

For more information call 562-692-0921 or visit

It gets old in Uptown

Thousands flock to Antique Street Faire

By Sergio Lopez, Jr.

Staff Writer

WHITTIER – Thousands came out to enjoy the 18th Annual Uptown Whittier Antique Street Faire on Nov. 2, 2013.
“Typical,” I thought as I drove through and around Uptown trying to find a parking spot. It served as a good omen.

This was yet another sign of a successful Uptown Whittier event. According to Michelle Morales, school director at Uptown’s Marinello School of Beauty and chairperson of the 18th Annual Uptown Whittier Antique Street Faire, five to six thousand people came out to peruse items lost in time.

The event stretched form Painter to Greenleaf along Philadelphia, which swarmed with faire-goers who circled the numerous blue- and white-tarp canopies lining the center of the street.

Venders sold everything from vintage football jerseys, glassware and artwork, including an old rotary Mickey Mouse telephones difficult to refuse.

“We’ve been here for 10 years and it’s been great every time,” said Valerie Bates, owner of Sugar and Spice Antiques and ex-owner of three different Whittier businesses, including a hair salon she seemed particularly proud of.

At the center of all the action, pageant queens waited under Chase Bank’s concert awning on the corner of Bright and Philadelphia to take the stage and compete for “Miss Uptown Whittier.” As they took the stage, each answered a series of questions and displayed their beautiful 1950’s style-garb, some of which was homemade.

As the judges made their decision, models strutted the stage like fashionistas down the runway, sporting hair and makeup artfully done by Marinello students.

Once the decisions were made, each girl climbed back on stage, anxious to find out who would be crowned this year’s queen.

“In third-place,” announced the contestant host, standing next to last year’s pageant winner, Crystal Ordaz, “Emily Castro! In second place,” as the applause settled, “Mary Romero! And your 2013/2014 Miss Uptown Whittier,” the host said in apparent anticipation, “Victory Rivera.”

As the crowd cheered, the East Los Angeles resident, Uptown Whittier frequenter, and now Miss Uptown Whittier, received her honorary sash as it was ceremoniously placed around her by Ordaz.

According to Morales, this pageant has been staged for about 10 years. It energized the crowd and offered girls, residents or not, a chance to become the face of Uptown Whittier for a year.

The faire continued to teem with interested visitors and antique enthusiasts. The event on this picturesque day reminded all how special Uptown has become.

Sergio Lopez Jr. can be reached at 562-291-9076


Turning disabilities into possibilities

Disabled “clients” and Lincoln Training Center staff keep products rolling to market at the 35,000-square-foot facility on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 in South El Monte.

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Lincoln Training Center celebrates 50 years

By Tim Traeger
SOUTH EL MONTE – What they do makes a difference every day. How they do it buoys the spirits of those who may have been tossed from mainstream society or witnessed their combined potentials overlooked.
So when the Lincoln Training Center opened its doors on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 for an open house to celebrate its first 50 years, it also showed the nonprofit organization lives up to its guiding motto, “Turning Disabilities into Possibilities.”
About 100 invited guests from across the Southland came to the center’s 35,000-square-foot headquarters at 2643 Loma Ave. to see the about 200 disabled “clients” packaging goods, bundling bars of soap but, most importantly, holding down real jobs.
“As you can see, we’re kind of busy today,” said Lincoln’s vice president of operations, Gary T. Griffen. “Each one of our clients gets a paycheck every two weeks.”
Griffen said Lincoln has centers in Sacramento, Fresno and another in Vista near San Diego. But the nonprofit’s reach touches many communities. He has worked in his position for 26 years. Many administrators at the center have tenures longer than two decades.
“We have clients who come from the Whittier area. A lot of our support comes from Whittier,” Griffen said. “Most of our clients who come through this center are referred to us through the San Gabriel Valley Regional Center … we just go where life takes us to provide more jobs.”
On this day many clients were packaging “chip boards” for painting contractors. Those boards will be shipped to stores like Sam’s Club, Costco, Lowe’s and Home Depot. Yet the center also provides custodial, grounds maintenance and general contracting.
“And we’re also looking to get more involved with disabled veterans,” Griffen said. “Starting next year we have big plans for that.”
For Bret Kirkpatrick, CEO of Bay Cities Inc. in Pico Rivera, Lincoln provides a reliable workforce for his marketing company that lowers the firm’s bottom line.
“We have a team from Lincoln that reports every day at our facility. They do packing, and different types of jobs for our clients that are part of our core business. They come to work on time. They are excited about what they’re doing. They do a great job every day for us and they’re reliable. It’s a really nice relationship,” Kirkpatrick said.
“What I like the most about it really, is when I come into work it’s an example for all of our employees. We interact with these folks. There’s one employee named Mikey. He’s so fired up. ‘How you doing?’ ‘Awesome!’ Why aren’t we so excited about our jobs?” Kirkpatrick said. His company of 125 full-time staff has been in Pico Rivera for 57 years.
“They perform all types of cleaning detail. Different packing jobs. We’re evaluating the use of more (Lincoln) teams and how we can integrate that. As the minimum wage goes up, we see an opportunity to integrate more Lincoln crews into the packing area,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s the proverbial win-win.”
Michael Doss of Belmont Shore, whose wife owns Brown’s Jewelry and Loan in Rosemead on Garvey Avenue, said the couple recently joined Lincoln’s “Affair of the Heart” committee. There’s a reason why the couple got behind one of Lincoln’s largest annual fund-raisers.
“I was so impressed by everything I learned that I wanted to get involved. It truly is a wonderful operation. Every one of us needs purpose in life. We have to feel valued. We have to feel like there’s something more out there. That’s what this gives. A significance and a purpose in life,” Doss said. “They really care about life. When they can’t come in, they call. They really care about their jobs.”
But beyond bottom lines and shorter unemployment lines, there’s a higher sense of purpose for many who work at Lincoln.
Noreen Baca, director of marketing and development, has been at Lincoln for 17 years. For her, staff longevity and career satisfaction comes from, “The work we do for our clients. We love our clients and it’s amazing to see the ability they have.”
For RoseMary Garza, Lincoln vice president of rehabilitation programs who supervises the staff that gives guidance to disabled clients working at the center, her job of 26 years offers a level of fulfillment a mere paycheck can’t provide.
“It’s extremely fulfilling to see these individuals being provided the opportunity to go out and display their abilities,” Garza said. “They are excellent employees. A lot of the information we receive from many of the contacts we have out in the community say that they are truly an added benefit at their locations.
“They say they really put a smile on people’s faces. They tell us they really lift the bar for their entry-level staff. On payday they’re so thrilled to get their paychecks. They show up on time. They appreciate their jobs. They have good attitudes when they’re there. They display appreciation for the work that they’re doing. They want to please everybody. Customer service is important to them,” Garza said. “They want to do a good job.”
Tim Traeger is former editor of the Whittier Daily News. Reach him at or call 626-646-7352.