Category Archives: Baldwin Park

Pastor’s Corner: To Tell or Not To Tell

Mark Hopper

Many years ago we took our children on a trip to California. We spent two days at Disneyland and then drove north to visit my brother and his family in Grass Valley. Our kids enjoyed time with their cousins and we enjoyed catching up with my brother and his wife.

One day we went to a pumpkin patch and each of our kids and the cousins selected their own pumpkin. They looked forward to carving and decorating their own pumpkins for Halloween when we got home. On our way back to Arizona we realized we would need to stop at the border for an agricultural inspection. We knew we would be asked by the border agent if we had any agricultural products that we were bringing into Arizona from California.

My wife and I had a lively discussion about what we should say to the agriculture inspector. If we said that we did not have any agricultural items – our children would get to keep their precious pumpkins. But, our children would also know we did not tell the truth. On the other hand, if we did tell the border agent that we did have some agricultural items – their personal pumpkins might be confiscated at the border and they would have nothing to carve for Halloween.

What would you say if you were faced with a similar situation? Do you tell or not tell? Do you disclose or conceal. Do you tell the truth and risk the loss of the precious pumpkins? Or to you tell a lie and hope you don’t get caught?

A man named Abraham faced a similar test. His wife was beautiful. He told her to lie and tell people she was his sister. He told the same lie when he was asked about her. Abraham was afraid someone might kill him and take his wife (Genesis 20). Years later his own son Isaac did the same thing following of his father’s example (Genesis 26)!

I know people are more important than pumpkins. I believe it is better to tell the truth and face the consequences than to tell a lie. There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Put aside falsehood and speak truthfully” (Ephesians 4:25). Your reputation is on the line and your children may follow your example. When we got to the border we decided to tell the inspector about our precious pumpkins. We held our breath – then he said no problem. Pumpkins are permitted! Let me encourage you to tell the truth. We were glad we did and you will be too.

You can find more stories and articles by Mark Hopper at his web site – His book with 365 stories and articles (one for each day of the year) is available for $25 which includes postage – contact him at

Pastor’s Corner: The Man In The Mirror (Part Two)

Mark Hopper

In my previous article I shared about how we need to take a look in the mirror and see what changes we need to make in our own life. The words of the song Man in the Mirror and the story of the pastor with the rebellious daughter really drive home the principle that change needs to begin with you.

Many years ago I attended a helpful seminar on leadership. I picked up some useful ideas on how to be a more effective leader of our staff and our church. One of the speakers was Ken Blanchard, he was well known for his best-selling book – The One Minute Manager.  He shared an illustration that he often used with business leaders that has been very helpful to me as a husband, pastor and leader.

He said that when things are not going well, a foolish manager will look out his office window and place the blame on his workers. Why are sales and production declining? The employees must not be doing their jobs. On the other hand, when things are going well, a foolish manager will look in a mirror and congratulate himself for the great job he is doing.

Blanchard went on to say that when things are going well and sales are up and production is growing, a wise manager will look out the window and recognize the success is due to the hard work of his employees. And, when sales are down and production is declining, a wise manager will look in the mirror and ask himself – What am I doing wrong? What steps do I need to take to help our business improve?

There is a passage in the Bible where King David ignored the warning of his own advisors and demanded that his staff count the number of troops under his command. This action resulted in the death of a number of innocent people. David realized his mistake and asked God to forgive him and stop the devastation and destruction. He accepted responsibility for his arrogant behavior (Second Samuel chapter 24). If things aren’t going well in your life or business, let me encourage you to take a good look in the mirror. Ask yourself – what changes do you need to make in your life? Accept responsibility and change what you are doing. And if things are going well in your life or business, I hope you will give the credit to God and to the people who have made it possible. They will be glad you did and you will too.

Pastor Hopper has published a book with 365 of his articles and stories. The title is “Let Me Encourage You”. The cost is $25 which includes shipping. Order your copy at

Pastor’s Corner: The Man In The Mirror

Mark Hopper

Many years ago, I heard a pastor share his story about his relationship with his teenage daughter. He was discouraged and concerned that his daughter was angry and frustrated with him. One day he took his whole family to a local park. As they sat on some tree stumps, he asked his wife and each of their children this question – “What changes do I need to make in my life that can help heal our family”? He said it hurt deeply as each of them shared some of their frustrations with him. His teenage daughter was the most vocal. She told her father that he was too busy and he never listened to her.

After each of them shared, he told them he needed some time to be alone and think about what they had said. As he got up to leave, his daughter stopped him and said she needed to ask him the same question. “What changes did she need to make in her life?” This was a turning point in their strained relationship. His heart was softened and he began to make some changes in his schedule and he spent more time with his daughter. The daughter’s heart was softened and she began to make changes in her life too.

There is a passage in the Bible where Jesus said, “Before you try to remove the speck from your brother’s eye, you need to remove the log from your own eye” (Matthew 7:1-5). If there is a problem in your family, marriage or other relationship – the place to begin is in your own life. Look in a mirror and ask yourself this question – what am I doing that is causing problems in our relationship? What changes do I need to make in my life that will help heal the wounds and restore my relationship with others?

There is a song from the 1980’s written by a famous singer with the title – Man in the Mirror. Some of the words are, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change. I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways”.

I love the phrase – Changed people change people. I believe that when you make positive changes in your life it will produce positive changes in others too.  Your words, attitudes and actions can have a positive or negative impact on others. Let me encourage you to look in the mirror and ask yourself – what changes do I need to make in my life. You can ask your spouse, children or a trusted friend too. Pray and ask God to reveal some things to you that you need to change in your life with His help. You will be glad you did and those around you will too.

Pastor Hopper has published a book with 365 of his articles and stories. The title is “Let Me Encourage You”. The cost is $25 which includes shipping. Order your copy at

Pastor’s Corner: Water Pressure

Mark Hopper

When was the last time you checked the water pressure in your house? Most people have never checked it. We just turn on the faucet and we are thankful to have running water in our homes. We assume the water pressure is fine until we have a problem. Recently a hose burst in our bathroom in the middle of the night. My wife heard a noise and woke me up at 3:00 AM.  The noise came from the bathroom at the other end of the house. The hose that supplied water to the toilet had burst and it looked like a fire hose was flooding the bathroom, bedroom and hallway. I quickly turned off the valve but the water damage was extensive. I wondered why the small hose had burst and flooded the rooms. The next day I checked the water pressure in our house and discovered it was 120 PSI – twice what it should be. A few weeks later I was able to replace the water pressure regulator which reduced the pressure down to a normal 60 PSI.

Just as high water pressure can damage your home and high blood pressure can damage your heart, outbursts of anger can cause serious physical and emotional damage to yourself and to others. Two different words are used to describe anger in Ephesians 4:31-32. One word is thumos which describes outbursts of anger when people lose their temper and vent their anger with words and deeds. The other word for anger is orge which is a slow, simmering temper that gradually builds up like a volcano until it finally bursts or explodes.  Both of these types of anger can be harmful and destructive just like high water pressure and high blood pressure.

In the same passage there are two different words – kindness and compassion. These are helpful and constructive. They are the antidote of anger.  Kindness and compassion seek to resolve problems and restore relationships. Words and acts of anger damage and destroy relationships. If anger is simmering beneath the surface in your heart or revealing itself in harmful words and deeds, let me encourage you to get help.  A new ministry called Domestic Kindness is equipping churches to be part of the solution to domestic abuse. Find them at Let me encourage you to ask God and ask those you have hurt to forgive you. Ask God to give you a heart of kindness and compassion that comes through faith in Christ. You will be glad you did and your family and friends will too!

Pastor Hopper has published a book with 365 of his articles and stories. The title is “Let Me Encourage You“. The cost is $25 which includes shipping. Order your copy at

The Eye Of The Beholder

Michael Armijo

It was a warm yet windy day filled with strong sorrow. The air reflected a deep sense of respect as people gathered to say goodbye to a friend whose spirit had left the earth.

As everyone gathered, the vibrant, wooden casket lay atop the ground as the family huddled closely around. The youngest, a young man, gazed at the casket while tears flowed from his swollen eyes. He walked up and laid his cheek on the rigid, shiny, wooden box, as his white-gloved hands gently caressed the top of the last home his father’s body would ever have. He laid gentle kisses on the top of the casket, as his unconditional love was reflected in front of all those who watched. A gentle whisper was heard a row back, “Did you see that? How sad.”

When I heard those words, I felt something deep inside that disagreed; something that didn’t see the message of sadness when the boy showed his emotions. Instead, I saw an act of love. A love so strong, it displayed the true meaning of unconditional love. Something deep inside that didn’t care if the world looked on or what people felt. A feeling of purity, of joy, and of strength.

I believe the old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I believe we all see life in certain light, and sometimes, in certain darkness. I also believe that when we express the darkness which surrounds our lives, it spreads like a contagious and cancerous disease. It attaches by simple contact, clings like a dependent child, and deteriorates in a short amount of time.

I’ve learned that opinions are only perceptions of a person’s immediate thinking, and reflections of someone’s inner self. What we see is usually what we feel, what we feel deep inside. Without realizing it, we express past experiences, deep histories, insecurities about our future, and we reflect the perception of our own lives.

I also believe that when we see life in its darkest hour, we have the opportunity to see life through the brightest light. For some, it’s a short path traveled to a place inside that holds our mind hostage from our heart. For others, it’s a level of confidence that sits deep within that’s been damaged by a careless act from another.

I believe that the true meaning of life can only be understood through the light of beauty and the inner joy that sits deep in our hearts. I believe the vision of what will come can only be seen through the eyes of a believer. I feel the truest form of emotion can only be felt when a person can feel the presence of a higher power, a stronger entity, something or someone greater than themselves.

I understand that life is not always what it is expected to be. It changes moods like a spoiled child. But I also understand that life can be what we want it to be; all we have to do is apply our hearts in front of our minds. Following what we truly feel, not what we think we see, is the only way to put aside our petty angry thoughts and our insignificant bitterness. Because just as the young man who helped bury his father, the tears that flow from our swollen eyes are tears of love that can only be seen when beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Planes of Fame Airshow 2020

Planes of Fame Airshow Fans

Planes of Fame Air Museum is proud to present the Planes of Fame Air Show on May 2-3, 2020 ‘Victory Through Air Power’. Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII we will be  featuring over 50 historic aircraft, including the B-25 Mitchell, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-38 Lightning, F4U Corsair and P-51 Mustangs flying for your enjoyment. We invite you to join us in honoring the history, contributions, and sacrifices of our Veterans.

USAF Heritage Flight

Performers include: USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo and Heritage Flight, Pacific, European & Korean war era Flight Displays, Gregory ‘Wired’ Colyer T-33 Aerobatics, Philipp Steinbach GB1 GameBird Aerobatics, Sanders Sea Fury Aerobatics, John Collver AT-6/SNJ Aerobatics, Rob Harrison the Tumbling Bear and more!

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo Team

There will be a Kids Zone, static displays and plenty of food & vendors!

In addition to many other fantastic airplanes that will be performing and on static display, there will be a special panel discussion with some of our honored Veterans. Follow our Planes of Fame Facebook page to receive up to the minute news on Performers, attending Aircraft and Veterans!

Start your Air Show weekend early! Planes of Fame Air Museum opens at 10:00 am on Friday May 1st. Regular admission to the Air Museum includes a tram ride out to the display area as well as access to Planes of Fame Air Museum. Participating aircraft will be arriving throughout the day. Display area closes to the public at 4:00 pm.

Planes of Fame Air Show, Saturday and Sunday May 2-3 2020  8am – 4pm   See all of your favorite airplanes fly!

Get there Early, you don’t want to miss the ‘Victory Through Air Power’ Opening Ceremony and National Anthem Commemoration!

F4U Corsair. Over 40 WWII aircraft will fly.

Free Admission Kids 11 Years & Under, General Admission $30, Preferred Parking $20,

Grandstand Seats, Sunrise Photo Access Passes and RV Parking are available to purchase online at: WWW.PLANESOFFAME.ORG

SAVE $5 on General Admission Tickets when you purchase online! (Limited Time Offer)


For more information please contact :

Harry ‘T’ Geier

Director of Marketing Planes of Fame Air Museum

14998 Cal Aero Drive, Chino, CA  91710

Tel – 909-597-7576

June 2016 SGV News

2016-06-SGVNews-COVERSGV News covers Diamond Bar, Walnut, La Puente, Rowland Heights and surrounding areas of the San Gabriel Valley; portions of the western Inland Empire; and northern Orange County. Click this link to access the complete issue in PDF format: 2016-06-SGVNews-WEB

May 2016 SGV News

2016-05-SGVNews-COVERSGV News covers Diamond Bar, Walnut, La Puente, Rowland Heights and surrounding areas of the San Gabriel Valley; portions of the western Inland Empire; and northern Orange County. Click this link to access the complete issue in PDF format: 2016-05-SGVNews-WEB

March 2016 SGV News

March 2016 SGV NewsSGV News covers Diamond Bar, Walnut, La Puente, Rowland Heights and surrounding areas of the San Gabriel Valley; portions of the western Inland Empire; and northern Orange County. Click this link to access the complete issue in PDF format: March 2016 SGV Newspaper

September & October 2015 SGV News

2015-09AND10-SGVNewsSGV News covers Diamond Bar, Walnut, La Puente, Rowland Heights and surrounding areas of the San Gabriel Valley; portions of the western Inland Empire; and northern Orange County. Click this link to access the complete issue in PDF format: Sept. & Oct. 2015 SGV Newspaper

August 2015 SGV News

2015-08-SGVNews-COVERSGV News covers Diamond Bar, Walnut, La Puente, Rowland Heights and surrounding areas of the San Gabriel Valley; portions of the western Inland Empire; and northern Orange County. Click this link to access the complete issue in PDF format: August 2015 SGV Newspaper

CHP Officer Shot During Traffic Stop

Fontana man charged with attempted murder of a Peace Officer

Photo Courtesy:  CHP

Photo Courtesy: CHP

Staff Reports

Baldwin Park – In the early morning hours of Sept. 11, CHP Baldwin Park area Officers conducted an enforcement stop on a Cadillac Escalade for an impaired driving investigation. During the stop, the driver attempted to murder the officer by firing a semi-automatic, 12-gauge shotgun, resulting in injuries to the officer. The officers returned fire, wounding the suspect.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of the Cadillac fled the scene and was later apprehended after a lengthy pursuit. The chase came to an end when the Cadillac became disabled in a dirt field in Fontana. The suspect was taken into custody with the assistance of a West Covina Police Department K9 Police Dog and allied agencies.
The driver was identified as John Alfred Garcia, 30, of Fontana. He was booked into a Los Angeles County Jail and was arraigned under charges of Attempted Murder on a Peace Officer that was willful, deliberate, and premeditated; Assault on a Peace Officer with a semiautomatic weapon; and felony evading of a Peace Officer.
The CHP states that this shooting highlights the dangers of being a law enforcement officer.

Since January, 88 law enforcement officers nationwide have been killed in the line of duty. Of those, 28 have died as a result of fatal gunshot wounds. California has had three officers killed, all of which have been as a result of gunfire.
The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed is 41 years. The victim officers had served in law enforcement for an average of 12 years, 8 months at the time of the fatal incidents.
“Thankfully, our officer survived because of the courageous effort of not only his Partner Officer, but the multiple allied agencies who assisted, responded and pursued Garcia until he was apprehended,” said Southern Division Chief, Calvin Aubrey.
The officer was released from the hospital on Tues., Sept. 15, and is expected to make a full recovery.

Baldwin Park Unified Students Praised For AP Success

Photo Courtesy:  BP Unified

Photo Courtesy: BP Unified
Sierra Vista High senior, Anel Castellanos, earned Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction honors for passing six AP exams with scores of 4 and 5 during her sophomore and junior year. She is taking additional AP classes this year.

By William Diepenbrock

Baldwin Park – 104 students at Baldwin Park Unified’s two comprehensive high schools are being honored as AP Scholars by the College Board for their stellar success on Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

The exams are the culmination of the College Board’s AP program, that is designed to give high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses. Students who succeed on AP exams show they are ready for the rigors of college, may be allowed to skip some college courses and are more likely to graduate college on time.

AP exams are graded from 1 to 5 points. To be an AP Scholar, a student must earn a minimum score of 3 – the lowest passing grade – on three or more exams. To be an AP Scholar with Honor, a student must average 3.25 with a minimum score of 3 on four or more exams. To be an AP Scholar with Distinction, a student must average 3.5, with a minimum score of 3 on five or more exams.

Of the 104 students honored at Sierra Vista and Baldwin Park high schools, 68 were recognized as AP Scholars, 17 as AP Scholars with Honor, and 19 as AP Scholars with Distinction.

“We are proud of all our students who take on the challenge of these AP classes. These are extraordinarily demanding programs, but they deliver equally rewarding benefits,” said Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent, Dr. Paul Sevillano.

In 2014-15, 1,579 Baldwin Park Unified students took AP exams, including some who took more than ten. Subjects included art history, studio art, English language, European history, U.S. government, U.S. history, calculus, biology, chemistry, physics and Spanish.

Sierra Vista senior, Anel Castellanos, achieved one of the District’s highest average scores, earning three 4s and three 5s on six AP exams. That success earned her the status of AP Scholar with Distinction, the College Board’s second-highest honor.

Castellanos said the AP program helped inspire her passion for science and medicine.

“It helped me pick the career I wanted,” said Castellanos, who is also a forward on the Don’s varsity girls basketball team. “I want to become a biomedical engineer, perhaps specializing in helping create better artificial limbs.”

Castellanos began kindergarten at De Anza Elementary as an English learner. In 2008, after passing exams, she was designated as fluent English proficient. She is a graduate of Sierra Vista Junior High, where she participated in an accelerated math program, passing geometry as an 8th Grader.

Castellanos took her first AP exams as a sophomore, scoring a 5 on AP Calculus AB, and a 4 in AP World History. As a junior, she scored 5s in AP Calculus BC, AP Spanish Language and Culture, and 4s in AP U.S. History and AP English Language.

Sierra Vista High calculus teacher, Daniel G. Toohey, said he could tell in the first two weeks of Castellanos’ sophomore year that she was something special.

“She excels because she shows great attention to detail, a commitment to do her work exactly as I demonstrate it, and a level of maturity that I rarely see from someone her age,” Toohey said.

Castellanos’ perfect grades in AP and regular classes elevated her 4.0 GPA to a weighted GPA of 4.5, matching her 4.5 average on AP exams. This year, she will take AP Biology and AP Computer Science. If she earns at least 4s in those subjects, she will qualify as a National AP Scholar – the College Board’s highest honor.



Baldwin Park Unified Expands STEM

District partners with Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering to strengthen career pathways


Staff Reports

Baldwin Park – Baldwin Park Unified is expanding its partnership with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) – the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum – to deepen student opportunities for career and college pathways.

Baldwin Park High School – which launched Project Lead The Way’s freshman-year Introduction to Engineering Design class in 2014-15 – will add Principles of Engineering for sophomores this fall. The school plans to add a grade level each year.

Holland Middle School, meanwhile, is launching PLTW Gateway, which teaches students the principles of problem solving as they design playgrounds and furniture with specialized software.

Santa Fe School, a Grade 3 to 8 school, will provide Gateway for 8th Graders with an introduction to robotics for 5th Graders, and launch a PLTW club.

“These programs will strengthen our students’ knowledge, especially in engineering, as we begin to incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize more hands-on learning and more real-world application of science,” Superintendent Dr. Paul J. Sevillano said.

Baldwin Park has partnered with Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Engineering as part of the effort. Cal Poly is training and certifying teachers.  Students who complete the engineering pathway will move to the front of the registration line for Cal Poly’s engineering program.

District leaders say the new curriculum complements efforts by Baldwin Park High’s STEAM Academy, Holland Middle School’s exemplary science program and Santa Fe School’s focus on STEM, especially technology.

The STEAM Academy, which includes arts as well as STEM topics, is one of three career academies at Baldwin Park High School. The program provides interdisciplinary instruction around its STEAM theme. Signature projects include an egg drop, bridge-building and vehicle-building contests. Topics weave through math, history, English and social studies.

“Project Lead The Way adds a vital engineering component to our program,” Principal Anthony Ippolito said. “Together, these elements are really helping us to ensure students have the knowledge and skills to pursue college and career pathways.”

Baldwin Park’s efforts to strengthen college and career pathways helped earn the school a California Gold Ribbon – the state’s highest award – in 2015.

Ippolito said the programs offered at Holland and Santa Fe will work in conjunction with Baldwin Park’s engineering program and could even help prepare students for the high school’s Medical Academy, which has a sports medicine focus.

Holland Middle School, which earned a state Gold Ribbon this spring for its effective science instruction, will offer the Gateway program’s foundational class in engineering modeling and design as an 18-week program in fall and spring, allowing up to 50 students to take part. In 2016-17, Holland will add a foundational program in automation and robotics; specialized courses may follow the next year.

“We’re building a pipeline of opportunities for our students that will continue in high school and eventually lead to college,” Principal Michael Rust said. “We’re dedicated to giving these students every opportunity under the sun to succeed.”

At Santa Fe School – a smaller campus with about 400 students – programs will be offered to more than 30 8th Grade students as an elective and incorporated into science classes taken by all 5th Graders, Principal Margie Clark said. In addition, the school is looking to launch a PLTW club to help spark student interest.

“The goal is to get students excited about these opportunities,” Clark said. “I think they’ll be amazed at all the things they can create, especially with the robotics elements.”

Baldwin Park Father Sentenced For Son’s Murder


Photo Courtesy:  LASD  David Paz Vasquez

Photo Courtesy: LASD
David Paz Vasquez

Staff Reports

Baldwin Park – A 34-year old man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after being convicted of murdering his 20-month old son.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, jurors deliberated on Tues., July 21 for about an hour before finding David Paz Vasquez guilty of one count each of second-degree murder and assault on a child causing death. He was immediately sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Bruce Marrs.

Deputy District Attorney Deborah Scott, who prosecuted the case, said Vasquez was watching his son, Joshua, on June 12, 2013 at the family’s Baldwin Park home. After the toddler’s mother left for work, she received a call from a hospital saying the child had died.

Vasquez told investigators that he placed the child on a bed and told him not to move, the prosecutor added. The toddler fell onto the floor and Vasquez became upset and struck his son on the head and abdomen and then took him to the hospital. He was arrested that evening.

Injuries to the toddler included a smashed skull, broken ribs and internal bleeding in the abdomen.

During the trial, evidence was presented that when the child was five months old, he suffered a broken leg after Vasquez yanked him from the mother. After that incident, the toddler was placed in foster care for about a month, and then went to live at his grandmother’s house for six months. He was then returned to his parents.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.


San Gabriel Valley Organizations Honored

Kaiser Permanente BPMC Awards Nearly $300,000 in Community Benefit Grants

Photo Courtesy:  KP Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Leadership congratulates some of the grant recipients whose programs improve access to primary and specialty health care services throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Photo Courtesy: Kaiser Permanente 
Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Leadership congratulates some of the grant recipients whose programs improve access to primary and specialty health care services throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Staff Reports

Baldwin Park – Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center recently hosted a Community Benefit Partner Reception to award and recognize 34 local nonprofit organizations from the San Gabriel Valley with community benefit grants totaling close to $300,000.

“Kaiser Permanente is driven by our social mission to improve the health and well-being of the communities in which we serve,” says Maggie Pierce, Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center. “Through our work with local agencies and our community benefit grant program that enables us to address some of the health and social issues facing our communities, we are able to realize this mission. In these challenging economic times, it is even more crucial that our social commitment remain strong. We are honored to work with all of our community benefit partners to help build healthy communities impacting current and future generations.”

Funding to organizations is based on the findings from a community health needs assessment conducted in 2013, which included data research as well as community consultation with local community leaders and residents. The priority areas of need identified in the assessment include programs that improve access to primary and specialty health care services, programs that reduce obesity and the onset of complications from chronic diseases, and social service programs that respond to the needs of at-risk youth, alcohol/substance abuse, violence prevention, and the provision of basic needs for the underserved.

Among the recipients is East Valley Community Health Center (EVCHC) in West Covina, that received a $15,000 grant.

“For many years, East Valley Community Health Center’s uninsured patients have received much needed medical procedures through Kaiser Permanente’s Community Surgery Days,” said Chinhnam Hathuc, DO, Chief Medical Officer, EVCHC. “We are pleased to receive a grant through Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit Program to provide dental services to underserved low-income adults.”

Baldwin Park Unified Invests In STEM

District adopts a local accountability plan to prepare students for college and careers


Staff Reports

Baldwin Park – Baldwin Park Unified will invest in a host of programs in 2015-16 – including an International Baccalaureate program, an alternative learning academy, STEM programs and added rigor for Advanced Placement and honors classes – to prepare students for success in college or careers as part of its 2015-18 Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

The three-year plan, adopted June 23, is the second such plan required since the state altered its school funding system. It identifies goals for each of the three years covered, strategies to achieve those goals and funding sources.

Some programs target all students, while others focus on the state’s three high-needs groups: economically disadvantaged students, foster children and English learners.

Baldwin Park Unified expects to spend $13 million in 2015-16 on its high-needs students, who make up 89.4 percent of the District’s enrollment.

“Our LCAP will transform how Baldwin Park Unified serves its students, adding depth and breadth to an already rich instructional program,” said Superintendent Dr. Paul Sevillano. “We will provide avenues that prepare students to compete successfully for high-demand college majors and careers.”

Programs include Project Lead The Way, a leading provider of hands-on educational curriculum in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. Baldwin Park High School will add a robotics course and Holland Middle School and Santa Fe Elementary School will provide the STEM program for the first time.

Baldwin Park Unified will also boost the rigor of Advanced Placement and honors classes with an eye at how those courses can help the district develop an International Baccalaureate program (IB). IB degrees are highly valued by colleges and universities; programs can take three to five years to establish.

The District will also launch an Independent Learning Center at Baldwin Park High, where at-risk, disengaged students or those who need alternative approaches may pursue their diplomas. The Center will provide a blend of rigorous online and brick-and-mortar classes with flexible hours. Enrollment is expected to range from 75 to 120 students in its first year.

Other efforts are designed to improve student opportunities for success at all levels and improve student climate. These include:

  • Holding a District-wide college fair.
  • Expanding visual and performing arts resources.
  • Boosting partnerships with community colleges, California State University, University of California, Regional Occupational Program and the City’s Teen Center.
  • Implementing a Cal State readiness class to prepare students in high school and middle school for the demands of college.
  • Creating online local assessments to better sculpt instruction to student needs.
  • Extending the school year at the elementary level for struggling students.
  • Enabling students to improve grades or take courses they may have missed.
  • Creating professional learning communities to foster collaboration among educators.
  • Creating a bridge program to help students transition from middle to high school.
  • Investing $2.5 million to improve educational technology.
  • Implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a discipline system that uses positive feedback to minimize conflicts, suspensions and expulsions.

Baldwin Park Playful City USA

City’s Playability Recognized

Photo Courtesy:  City of Baldwin Park

Photo Courtesy: City of Baldwin Park

Staff Reports

Baldwin Park – Baldwin Park is being honored with a 2015 Playful City USA designation for the seventh time.  The national recognition program honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable. Baldwin Park is proud to be selected once again as a leader in creating more opportunities for play.

This year, the City will be developing new play opportunities at four summer lunch school sites. The school sites are located in neighborhoods that are park poor and where access to play space is limited. Children will be allowed to access the playground area for 60 minutes after enjoying their lunch through the City’s summer lunch program.

Teens will also have an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors by participating in a new program at the Baldwin Park Teen Center where at-risk adolescents participate in various outdoor activities such as hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains.

By integrating these components into play initiatives, local Baldwin Park youth will have the opportunity to use all their senses to learn, explore, and imagine through play.

Hopscotch sidewalks, structured recess programs, mandated neighborhood play spaces, city-wide play days and mobile recreation vehicles are all ways in which these communities are appealing to residents, and attracting and retaining residents.

“Playability is crucial to the success of our future communities, and we are proud of the work these cities and leaders are doing to provide a better quality of life for all residents, and especially families,” says KaBOOM! President, James Siegal. “Play provides a competitive advantage for cities looking to attract and retain residents. With these esteemed leaders, and our friends and partners across the country, we continue to prioritize play for all kids.”

To learn more about these cities, see the full list of the 241 communities named 2015 Playful City USA honorees, or to gather more information on the Playful City USA program, visit

Baldwin Park Unified Runs E-Textbook And Chromebook Pilot

Just four U.S. school districts chosen to try out system

Image Courtesy:  Google

Image Courtesy: Google

Staff Reports

Baldwin Park – The first of two electronic textbook pilot efforts at Baldwin Park Unified has returned overwhelming praise for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt materials used on Google Chromebooks, according to District leaders.

Some 36 8th Graders at Sierra Vista Middle School, and 30 10th Graders at Sierra Vista High School, conducted a semester-long trial of electronic curriculum on the Chromebooks this past spring as part of an effort to determine engagement levels.

“This was a rare and valuable opportunity to see how our students responded to new technology interfaces with the latest electronic texts,” Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent, Dr. Paul Sevillano, said. “As expected, we received valuable insights that will help us sculpt our approach to technology even as we prepare for a second round of pilot testing.”

The first pilot was originally scheduled to run nine weeks, but middle school teacher, Gabriela Lopez, and high school teacher, Rafael Marquez, received an extension allowing them to continue the program through spring.

A second Baldwin Park Unified pilot effort will be conducted at four middle schools and two high schools during spring 2016. In the meantime, the District is launching an effort to expand wireless capacity to support use of additional computer devices by students.

Baldwin Park Unified is one of just two districts in California, and four across the U.S., authorized for the pilot by Google and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

BP Free Pet Clinic

Residents urged to tap into free clinic before funds are depleted

Image Courtesy: mspca

Image Courtesy: mspca

Staff Reports

Baldwin Park – Commuters and passersby may have recognized a pattern of puppies, kittens, dogs and cats pouncing on the perimeter of Morgan Park in recent weeks. That’s because local residents are taking advantage of an opportunity to care for their pet’s needs through a mobile clinic frequenting the City.

The clinic, housed within a large blue bus emblazoned with pet images, is the Lucy Pet Foundation’s traveling service venue. Organization officials are providing as many as 300 spay/neuter operations, as well as additional vaccines, to some of Baldwin Park’s resident pets throughout this month. And all major services are free of charge.

But grant money for the services runs out next week, so residents are urged to book an appointment for Fluffy or Fido as soon as possible.

“We’re starting the process to adopt the dog and get some things for him taken care of, so this came at a perfect time,” said Raymond Guzman of Baldwin Park. The 17-year old stood in line at Morgan Park on an early Monday morning to get his dog, Astro, neutered.

Guzman said he had recently investigated some regional programs to get his Maltese/Terrier puppy fixed at a reduced rate. Tapping in to the free neutering services now was going to save him as much as $300, he said. The aspiring veterinarian plans to follow up with the necessary vaccinations before getting Astro officially licensed soon.

Lucy Pet Foundation’s mobile clinics are still available June 22 and 23, strictly for Baldwin Park residents.  Veterinarian Karen Halligan said her group can still accommodate more than 100 surgeries for local canines and felines before grant money – given by the Coalition for Pets and ASPCA – expires this month and the mobile unit leaves town.

Manny Carrillo, Director of Recreation and Community Services, said the Lucy Pet Foundation has frequented Baldwin Park in the past. This year’s clinics featured more availability dates and a higher turnout than before.

“This is a win-win situation because it helps residents during this economic downturn,” said Carrillo. “Most people love their pets and they want to take care of them. This is a great opportunity for them to do that, not just for a quick fix, but for the rest of their lives.”

While the reasons behind getting pets spayed or neutered are often argued, Halligan added that the Lucy Pet Foundation, based out of Thousand Oaks, works to reduce the pet population via mobile clinics and supports causes that benefit animal welfare. She said pets may live 30 to 40 percent longer if they have undergone the spay/neuter procedure.

“This is what you do to help take care of your pet,” the veterinarian added. “You’re taking care of their health and adding more years to their life. Pregnancies can be expensive, and every year, about 80,000 pets are getting euthanized.”

Lucy Pet Foundation’s free spay and neutering services include the operation, a physical exam, a rabies shot, and follow-up medical supplies for dogs and cats. Additional services such as microchip implanting and supplemental vaccinations are also available for about $15 to $30, depending on the request.

To take advantage of the mobile pet clinic, residents must call (855) 499-5829 or e-mail to schedule an appointment. Proof of Baldwin Park residency is required.