Archive for Around Town

Council gives solace in student death

WHITTIER – Mayor Fernando Dutra and the Whittier City Council expressed their deep sorrow on Tuesday following the death of 19-year-old Whittier student Hun Joon “Paul” Lee. Lee, a special-needs student, was found unresponsive on a school bus contracted by the Whittier Union High School District about 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.

Dutra said, “The City Council and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the Lee family upon the loss of their son. Please know that the Whittier community has been greatly touched by this terrible tragedy and is supporting you in our thoughts and prayers as you navigate the days to come.”

The city confirmed the Whittier Police Department is investigating the incident and will continue to work with the Whittier Union High School District, transportation company, and other entities as appropriate during the course of the case.


‘Dine 4 Dollars’ slated Aug. 12 feeds Whittier’s rich history

The Whittier Historical Society and Museum is hosting its “Dine 4 Dollars” fund-raising spectacular from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015 at Crepes & Grapes Café, 6560 Greenleaf Ave. in Whittier.

When you present a flier at Crepes & Grapes, 15 percent of your bill will benefit the Whittier Historical Society and Museum. This is a major fund-raiser for the museum, which preserves and protects the rich history of Whittier from its humble confines at 6755 Newlin Ave.

Fliers can be obtained at the museum or through its monthly newsletter, “The Whittier Museum Gazette.”

For more information call 562-945-3871 or visit

Rio Hondo gives a one-stop leg up to veterans

WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College’s Veterans Service Office launched a one-stop service center this summer that will allow veterans of the U.S. armed forces to conveniently obtain a host of critical services that range from counseling and tutoring to financial aid and loan assistance.

Veterans make up a small, but growing percentage of Rio Hondo’s student population. “Our veterans are returning to college after making significant sacrifices on our behalf,” said Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss. “As such, they have special needs that go beyond those of the typical student – and we want to be sure we meet all of them to ensure their success at Rio Hondo College and beyond.”

Yvonne Gutierrez-Sandoval, Director of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Veterans Services, said the center was inspired by a desire to provide veterans with a place where they would feel most comfortable getting the services needed for their education.

“Our veterans share unique experiences – many of them traumatic – and it creates a level of comfort for them to be around other veterans who understand that,” Gutierrez-Sandoval said.

Services for veterans include: • Counseling services • A Veterans Administration education benefits certifying official • A financial aid adviser • Emergency student loans • Tutoring services • Computer lab • Information on community programs and services for veterans • Graduation cap and gown loan program.

“The transition to civilian life can be a difficult one,” added Arely Castaneda, Rio Hondo College’s newly appointed Veterans Service Center coordinator/counselor. “Providing a convenient location that meets all of a veteran’s needs helps eliminate unneeded stress. It also promotes their efforts to complete their courses and make the transition to a four-year college or new career.”

Board of Trustees President Madeline Shapiro said the new center is part of a larger campaign launched by the college to ensure all students receive services sculpted to meet their unique needs.

“Veterans are a growing and significant element of our student population,” Shapiro said. “It is a privilege to play a role in helping them transition to their next role in our society, and any service we can offer to make the process work more smoothly benefits us all.”

Open registration for Rio Hondo College’s fall 2015 semester begins Aug. 6. The fall semester runs from Aug. 22 to Dec. 12.

For information on the college or its programs, call
562-692-0921 or visit


Weigh in on Nelles re-use plan on Monday, May 4

WHITTIER – The city of Whittier will begin the first of four Planning Commission meetings considering the re-use of the Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 4, 2015 at city hall, 13230 Penn St.

Participants may speak for three minutes during the public comments portion of the meeting.

Boys & Girls Club benefit sure to motivate

Get motivated and help the Boys & Girls Club of Whittier by attending the first “Be Great Motivate” benefit from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the Rose Hills SkyRose Chapel, 3888 Workman Mill Road in Whittier.

Renowned motivational speaker John Coutis promises to uplift spirits and get a positive mood flowing for all those attending.

Tickets are $15 and can be obtained at or by calling 562-698-8630, Ext. 114.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

The event, which organizers hope to make an annual event, is sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Whittier, Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary and Graphicom Printing. All proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club.

Free tax help from Rio Hondo

WHITTIER – Community members who earned less than $53,000 per household in 2014 may obtain free income tax preparation assistance at Rio Hondo College on upcoming Fridays through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

The college will also participate in a family resource fair in conjunction with a community partnership that includes the State Board of Equalization, Covered California, the California Public Utilities Commission, Employment Development Department, California Department of Insurance and the United Way. Appointments are required.

Tax help is slated from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015; from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, March 27 and April 10 in the Business Building, Room B-118, at Rio Hondo, 3600 Workman Mill Road.

The resource fair will be held on Friday, Feb. 27.

For tax assistance appointments call 562-463-7359.

‘Mad Dash’ for Maddi’s Closet

From Maddi’s Closet is looking forward to its 10th Annual “Mad Dash,” a competitive and non-competitive 5K run/walk to be held at La Serna High School on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

Everyone is welcome to join From Maddi’s Closet as they press on in the fight against childhood cancer. The event is one of two major fundraisers sponsored by Maddi’s Closet each year to help pay for programs and services in the support of patients and their families struggling with the challenges of this disease.

“Let’s give this event a complete make-over,” stated Donna Holmes, president and founder, as she met with the “Mad Dash” committee members early in October 2014. “The enthusiasm and support has been very gratifying and energizing. It’s going to be amazing!”

The theme for the 2015 5K run/walk is “The Year of the Super Hero,” honoring both the little heroes battling cancer and recognizing the special heroes that participate and provide financial support, making it possible to continue providing the wide range of programs and services for patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Children’s Hospital Orange County.

From Maddi’s Closet has continued to enhance services and expand the number of children receiving the benefits and services throughout the year.

Snapshot info:

From Maddi’s Closet

10th Annual “Mad Dash”
A Super Hero 5K Run/Walk
April 11, 2015

La Serna High School, Whittier

6:15 – Day of Race Registration Opens
7:15 – Warm Up
7:30 – ½ Mile “Catch the Super Villain” Youth (12 and Under) Run and Pancake breakfast
7:55 – Welcome and Competitive 5K participants at Starting Line
8:00 – Non-competitive 5K participants at Start Line
9:45 – Award Ceremony
Lots of fun activities include vendor booths opportunities, costume contest, and commemorative T-shirts and goodie bags for registered participants.

Calling all “SUPER HEROES”! You can register three ways: online at,, complete and mail event registration form (located at the Whittier Chamber office), registration booth on day of event. Watch for details in the coming weeks – and work it!! Be a Super Hero!

For more information call Rita C. Leslie at 562-943-3684 or Donna Holmes at 562-943-9402


Rio Hondo CAREs about needy students

WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College’s Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) is hosting its 17th annual “Adopt-A-Child” event from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 at the Rio Hondo Café at the College, 3600 Workman Mill Road. The festive holiday luncheon – a Rio Hondo tradition – is an opportunity for economically disadvantaged students with young children to enjoy a holiday celebration, complete with a visit from Santa Claus, and to receive gifts courtesy of the Rio Hondo College community.

About 80 full-time student-parents with more than 120 children participate in the CARE program.

For information call 909-206-5304 or 909-214-6909.

Sontag to broadcast from local pregnancy center

WHITTIER – Radio personality Frank Sontag will bring 99.5 KKLA to Women’s Pregnancy Care Clinic (WPCC) Whittier at 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 for his show.

WPCC, a licensed community clinic, is entering 25 years of service to women who find themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy. Community leaders and WPCC supporters will reflect on the impact on the community at large and discuss potential impacts for an additional location in Pasadena.
WPCC seeks to erase the need for a woman to resort to abortion as her only option by providing resources and support that can turn her fear into confidence. Clients from years back will return on Dec. 19, to share their stories live on KKLA – The Frank Sontag Show. One woman will return after 19 years with her 19-year-old daughter who is now in nursing school.
“We are a pro-woman clinic, addressing the needs of women who find themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy. We provide a holistic approach so that she may make a healthy decision for herself as well as for her unborn child,” said Jeanette Kuiphof, WPCC president and CEO.
It is estimated that, in the geographical area WPCC serves, almost 8,000 abortions occur annually. Many women choosing abortion might have chosen to give life to their unborn child if they were only aware of the resources available to them.

Sontag’s segment will run for two hours on Dec. 19 at the clinic, 16147 Whittier Blvd. Community and church leaders are expected to attend this open house reception.

WPCC, as a nonprofit medically licensed clinic, assists women by offering the following services free of charge: pregnancy test verification, pregnancy confirmation by ultrasound, STD testing and options education. Long-term support for clients is offered through parenting programs as well as healing support for those struggling with a past abortion.

For more information call 562-777-4468.

Conference today on the King’s Table

Want a down-and-dirty lesson on the power of the Holy Spirit?
Jumpstart your theological knowledge at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23 at the Scattering Seeds Church, 12217 Philadelphia St. in Whittier.

The two-day King’s Table Christian Training Center Conference features pastor Albert Cisneros, bishop Brian Redfearn and evangelist Johnny Soto and will cover the Holy Ghost atmosphere that should embody all Christians.

It will provide a “touch of God” perspective for all.

Child care will not be provided.

For information call pastor Joey Alvarado at 323-314-7711.