Archive for December 5, 2013

La Serna gridders advance to Saturday CIF showdown

La Serna High players shake hands with Burbank after the Lancers’ 28-21 win on Friday, Nov. 29. (Photos by Eric Terrazas)

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By Eric Terrazas

Staff Writer

WHITTIER – La Serna High School senior quarterback Frankie Palmer scored on a 4-yard run with 23 seconds remaining in regulation, lifting the host Lancers to a thrilling 28-21 victory Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 over Burbank in the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division semifinal.

The game-winning touchdown capped an impressive day for Palmer, who accounted for three touchdowns in front of a packed house at California High. He ran for two scores and threw for another.

Friday’s triumph lifted La Serna (11-2) to the CIF-SS divisional championship game against Norwalk (13-0), which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. Site is to be determined.

It marks the third consecutive trip to the divisional finals for La Serna, which is attempting to win its first CIF-SS football divisional crown since 1967. The Lancers, who fell to West Covina in 2011 and Downey last year, are hoping the third time is a charm.

La Serna, trailing 21-14 in the third quarter, tied the game on Palmer’s 1-yard run that came on a quarterback rollout. Palmer’s score, which came with 3 minutes, 3 seconds left in the third quarter, capped a 15-play, 60-yard drive.

After a strong defensive stand forced a short Burbank (10-3) punt, the Lancers regained possession with under four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Palmer’s winning touchdown completed a 7-play, 44-yard drive.

Palmer finished with 165 yards while completing 12 of 22 attempts. His one touchown pass, which went 42 yards to senior wide receiver Matt Rosales, came on the game’s opening drive.

The Bulldogs quickly recovered by scoring 14 unanswered points before the end of the first quarter.

After senior running back Joseph Pendleton’s game-tying 45-yard scoring run, Burbank grabbed a 14-7 lead on junior quarterback Ryan Meredith’s 49-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Oharjee Brown. The Bulldogs’ go-ahead score was set up by a recovery of a La Serna fumble.

La Serna, however, received a defensive boost when senior defensive back D’Andre Sanchez intercepted a Meredith pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown, which tied the game at 14-14 before halftime.

The Bulldogs grabbed a 21-14 advantage in the third quarter’s early stages when Meredith threw a 38-yard scoring pass to Brown, which was caught on a deflection.

The only remaining hurdle that separates La Serna from a CIF-SS divisional title is Norwalk, which defeated Muir 35-28 in Friday’s other divisional semifinal.


CIF State Division II second round

Santiago 3, Whittier Christian 0

Whittier Christian’s thrilling 2013 season came to an end when it lost Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 to top-seeded Santiago High of Corona, 19-25, 21-25, 24-26.

The Heralds, which recently captured their second consecutive CIF-SS Division 2A crown, finished with an overall record of 33-7.

Senior outside hitter Deanna Blaine recorded a team-high 15 kills while fellow senior outside hitter Kylee Wolfe added 10.


Community honors its latest ‘Good Scouts’

Larry and Jane Dicus accept the 2013 Rio Hondo Good Scouts Award on Nov. 14, 2013 at the Radisson Hotel Whittier. courtesy of Bruce Martin

By Tim Traeger
WHITTIER/SANTA FE SPRINGS – Hallowed indeed should be the Good Scouts.
Images of the kind lad who helps a feeble woman across a busy street have faded into real-world first-responders, firefighters and policemen who thrust themselves in harm’s way for society’s greater good. And that service all starts somewhere. More often than not, it begins with the Boy Scouts of America.
So when the community came out for the 29th year on Thursday, Nov. 14 to honor the best of those qualities, the embodiment of service that adds substance to our society, it again bolstered an organization worthy of support and admiration.
This year’s 2013 Rio Hondo Good Scouts compare well with those before them. The Wickers. The Bales. The Muphys. The Shannons. The Watjes. The Grays. The Balls. The Perrys. We could easily add the Woehrmanns, the Owenses, the Jenkinses, the Boles, the Putnams and the Schnabels. Toss in a few Henkes, Coreys and Bells, and one merely has a glimpse of the great people who have lifted and enriched this community through Scouting.
So to that hallowed list now add the Dicuses and the Gardeas.
About 165 people came to the Whittier Radisson Hotel to add Jane and Larry Dicus and Christopher Gardea to the exclusive roster. More importantly, the annual event raised a fistful of cash for Boy Scouts.
“I think this was the best event that we’ve had,” said Good Scouts Dinner Committee

left, Cicily, Jeanette, Good Scout Chris, Miranda and Wyatt enjoy the 2013 Rio Hondo Good Scouts Awards at the Radisson Hotel Whittier on Nov. 14, 2013. Photo courtesy of Bruce Martin

member Bruce Martin. “Ruth Shannon (co-Good Scout in 1994) was our leader again. The event was very well received, we had a tremendous crowd and I believe the Scouts made a little money. For example we usually have about 10 baskets to raffle off. This year we had 40 baskets. Many people bought raffle tickets. We all try to do our part and all the money goes to the Scouts, and that’s what counts,” Martin said.

Larry and Jane Dicus met in a communications class in Detroit in 1969, although both came from Scouting backgrounds, Larry attaining a God and Country award from his service to Troop 841 while Jane spent six years in Brownies and Girl Scouts. Sons Eric and Scott both earned their Eagle Scout award. Larry is a second-generation native Californian, born in Pasadena and raised in Alhambra. Jane was born in Michigan and raised in Pittsburgh.

Larry attended Cal Poly Pomona, where he received his bachelor of science degree in Information Technology in 1968. He served many years as a systems representative for Burroughs Corp. Jane attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, earning her bachelor of science degree in Business Administration. She also later worked at Burroughs as a systems representative, where the two first met.
Larry later went to work for Cisco Systems and moved to Whittier with Jane in 1978. He is a longtime member of the Whittier Host Lions Club and was recently elected to the International Board of Directors at the Lions International Convention in Hamburg, Germany.
Jane served as president of AAUW, Whittier High PTSA and Soroptimist Club of Whittier. In 1995 she returned to fulltime work as a financial advisor at Dean Witter in Whittier. She currently works as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley in Brea.
“Larry and Jane are most deserving of the Good Scout award not only for their service to Scouting but also their community and beyond,” said Drew Sones, a fellow longtime Host Lions member who gave the benediction at the ceremony. “Larry is a newly elected director for Lions Club International and is working with a Scout leader in Afghanistan to establish a special interest in Lions Club to support the Scouting effort in that country,” Sones said.

“Whittier has been a wonderful community to live in and raise our sons,” Larry Dicus said. “The Boy Scouts, schools and churches have provided important platforms to help us raise our sons with values to carry throughout their lives. Most of all, we cherish the special friendships we have formed during these years. Time marches on, but we will have those relationships for our lifetime, and we are grateful.”

Christopher Gardea got involved in Scouting in 1972. The Eagle Scout and his three Eagle Scout brothers, Greg, Roman and Andrew, grew up camping in the Sierra, on Catalina Island and at Lake Arrowhead. Scouting awards and honors too many to mention, Gardea has served as a paramedic for the Santa Fe Springs Department of Fire Rescue for 18 years and the award-winning woodcarver competes at the national level.
His son, Wyatt, will become the fifth Eagle Scout in the family this year.
The firefighter/paramedic lives in La Mirada but grew up in Whittier. He’s been with SFS fire for 23 years.
“It’s all fun. It was very humbling” Gardea said of the honor. “I’ve been involved in Scouting for 40 years. I’m in a Scouting family. Scouting is about opportunity. That’s why my parents signed us up 40 years ago.”
Gardea has three children with his wife, Jeanette, who he’s been married to for 23 years. Their oldest daughter, Cicily, 20, is a Gold Award recipient in Girl Scouts while son, Wyatt, 17 is the fifth Eagle Scout Award winner in the family. Miranda Gardea, 15, attends La Mirada High School and plays club and high school soccer.
“They couldn’t have picked a better guy,” said Annette Arnesen, an administrative clerk who has worked with Gardea at the SFS Department of Fire-Rescue for about three and a half years. “He’s down to earth and has a heart of gold. He has a helping hand for everyone.”
“I’m just having fun,” Chris Gardea said. “I’m getting to help young people realize their dreams.”

Tim Traeger is former editor of the Whittier Daily News. Call him at 626-646-7352 or e-mail him at

Coalition launches in support of Washington Boulevard alignment for the Eastside Gold Line extention

Local cities, businesses, residents form to actively lobby Metro

By Chris Modrzejewski


WHITTIER — The cities of Whittier, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Santa Fe Springs, along with major employers and community leaders announced Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 that they have joined to form the Washington Boulevard Light Rail Transit Coalition to advocate to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LACMTA) in support of the Washington Boulevard alignment to the Eastside Gold Line extension.

The LACMTA is expected to release a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) early next year, and vote on a preferred route later in 2014. The Draft EIR will study two potential routes for Phase 2 extension of the Eastside Gold Line.

“The Washington Boulevard alignment has the highest projected ridership among all the alternatives being studied, extends light rail the farthest east into the county where more people live and work, and is expected to cost less per mile than the alternative,” said LACMTA chair and City of Lakewood Council Member Diane DuBois.

“In every measurement, the Washington Boulevard alignment appears to be the superior choice.”

“What the eastside needs is public transportation that can take people from where they live to where they work; to connect residents to jobs,” said Pico Rivera Mayor Gustavo Camacho. “Because this alignment is envisioned to run right through the heart of the county’s industrial center, along Washington Boulevard, we see this route as the best way to shorten the distance from people’s doorsteps to the front door of their work.”

Whittier Mayor Bob Henderson hailed the proposed Washington Boulevard alignment as “the right route for light rail in East Los Angeles.” Henderson said. “By extending the Gold Line farther into East Los Angeles, workers will have convenient and affordable access to one of the most jobs-rich regions of the county.”

The Washington Boulevard alignment being studied would extend the Gold Line Eastside extension from its current terminus at the Atlantic Station east to Garfield, south to the city of Commerce, and east along Washington Boulevard through the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, and terminating in the city of Whittier. The line is to run mostly at-grade, with elevated portions being evaluated at some major street crossings.

“As the largest employer in the region, extending the Gold Line to our front door would not only increase access to health care but also provide much needed public transportation for those who work in our medical center facility,” said Jim West, President and CEO of PIH Health, formerly Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, located at the proposed light rail terminus in Whittier.

The Draft EIR will also analyze an alternative alignment to Washington Boulevard along SR-60. Because the SR-60 proposed alignment would be mostly adjacent to the freeway and pass through less concentrated areas, passengers would more likely access stations from the freeway, rather than from adjacent neighborhoods.

“It won’t require a freeway drive to get on the Gold Line in our town,” says Santa Fe Springs Mayor Richard Moore. “The Washington Boulevard alignment will be located right within our neighborhoods, convenient to where our residents live and work.”

Designed for transit users, the Washington Boulevard alignment would serve 3,200 more daily riders than the SR-60 alternative; provide direct access to more jobs than the other alternative; and serve daily commuters traveling both east and west at peak and non-peak hours. Additionally, the Washington Boulevard alignment provides more direct access for senior citizens and low-income residents living within the study area, who are among the most transit dependent.

County Supervisor and LACMTA Board member Don Knabe noted, “It is critical that Metro build transit where it will be most needed and best used. In my view putting this line right next to a freeway does not make sense, especially when there is an opportunity to build it in the community and get more riders to use the line,” Knabe said.

Between now and when the LACMTA Board votes on the preferred route for the Gold Line Eastside Extension Phase 2 in 2014, the Washington Boulevard Coalition will actively advocate for the Washington Boulevard alignment. The coalition will continue to build its ranks from among the various stakeholders who benefit from a Washington Boulevard alignment and its members will be a vocal presence for the Washington Boulevard alternative, officials said.

Chris Modrzejewski can be reached at 213-260-1450.

‘Longest Nights’ event on tap

Whittier Presbyterian Church, 6030 S. El Rancho Drive in Whittier, is presenting an Interfaith Community event called “Longest Nights” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013.
“When life gets tough, the nights get long. This service is for those who find life too heavy to join in holiday celebrations. It is a time to lay down those burdens and give them to God,” reads a press release.
There will be original music and readings of comfort, shared prayer and candles of remembrance.
‘Longest Nights’ is sponsored by members of the Whittier Area Clergy Association, WACA.
For more information call 562-692-3748 or visit

Holiday business mixer slated at Emeritus

Emeritus at Chateau Whittier, an independent and assisted-living community, welcomes the community to a festive holiday business mixer and toy drive from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 to benefit The Whole Child.
Bring an unwrapped toy for children ages 0-18 years.
Emeritus at Chateau Whittier is located at 13250 E. Philadelphia St. in Whittier.
For more information call 562-945-3904.

Radisson sponsoring toy drive on Thursday

The Radisson Hotel Whittier, 7320 Greenleaf Ave., is again sponsoring a toy drive from 7 p.m. to midnight on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. Admission to the 2nd Annual SIK Streetwear Christmas Toy Drive is $10 at the door or a toy of $10 in value.

The event is for ages 21 and over and live music will be provided by Canela Cabaret. There will be raffles and giveaways. For more information call Sergio Becerra at 323-807-7818 or call 562-945-8511.


This week’s homily

By The Rev. Thomas M. Boles, PhD., DMin., D.D.

Edmond once vowed that he and his family would never be homeless. But, a short time later, he lost his job, and then fire destroyed their home. Suddenly, they were homeless. Their only option was a shelter.

At the end of the first day there, Edmond’s prayer was, “Lord, get me out of here.” His attitude was extremely negative. In his opinion, the shelter’s rules were humiliating. Residents had to be escorted across the street to the mission hall for their meals. They had to attend a church that helped support the shelter. When residents found work, they were expected to put 70 percent of their paycheck in a savings fund toward the day when they could move out of the shelter.

After pouring out all his complaints to the shelter’s director, Edmond had a restless night. He realized that he had been focusing all his attention on getting out, rather than on what he might do to make things easier for his family. That night, he changed his attitude. He started by taking a glass of water to a coughing man in the next room.

Nine months later, Edmond and his family had a home again. But he didn’t forget what he had learned. He still visits the shelter, saying, “Wherever you are, God is there too. Attitude, not circumstances, made the real difference to his life.”

The right train of thought can take you to a better station in life.

For as he thinks within himself, so he is

Proverbs 23:7