Category Archives: San Gabriel Valley

Artist Corner

Luis Oscar Martinez a.k.a. Knucklehead

By Racine Guajardotattoo-artist-louie-web

Growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, Luis came from a big family and was heavily influenced mostly by his Tio Gary who was not only tattooed but would also tattoo on everyone he knew. At the young age of 13, Luis took his Tio’s homemade tattoo machine and started tattooing on his brother and friends. Once his Tio found out about his tattooing, he then started to teach Luis techniques which he has now incorporated into his own style. Luis has now established a successful career as a tattoo artist, working over 20 years in the business. Initially, he started working at a shop, and about 7 years ago has now opened his own shop called Knuckleheads Tattoo, with the recent re-location in Colton, CA.

Luis respects all other artists in the industry, but states, “what makes me different are my social skills, I am not only an artist but also a shrink,” as he smiles, he also says, “I like to help people so it doesn’t bother me to listen.” Luis also tattoos for PINK, specializing in covering breast cancer scars as well.

When asked what he thinks people should know about him, he states, “I think people should know you can’t judge a book by its cover, my cover is decorated and cool.” He has also prided himself in not only being a successful tattoo artist, but dedicated himself to being the best father stating, “They are my life.”

Luis describes his style as being well rounded. He loves to freehand his work as a true artist using the motto, “if you can think it, I can ink it.”

You can find Luis at his new shop, Knuckleheads Tattoo at 1231 E. Washington St. Colton, CA 92324, follow him on Instagram at Knuckleheadtattoo, as well as FB under Louis Martinez.

July 2016 SGV News

2016-07-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: 2016-07-SGVNews-WEB

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

BPUSD’s Rubio Accused of Violating Board Policies, Recall Suggested

By D. Radillo

Photo courtesy: Blancarubio.com Blanca Rubio, a Baldwin Park Unified School District board member, was recently accused of violating board policies at a BPUSD board meeting.

Photo courtesy: Blancarubio.com
Blanca Rubio, a Baldwin Park Unified School District board member, was recently accused of violating board policies at a BPUSD board meeting.

Baldwin Park – During a February school board meeting, Baldwin Park Unified School District (BPUSD) board member, Blanca Rubio, was accused by a 33-year employee of violating school board policies and a laundry list of wrongdoings, which include: her husband was given a job and promotion; for allegedly covering up his arrest for being under the influence and possession of a narcotic; replacing the district’s law firm with another who had given her campaign donations, and for soliciting donations to current school board vendors for her Assembly seat campaign, according to a youtube video of the board meeting: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCrzY5YwMeQ&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop)

Mike Orona, who served as an employee for the BPUSD for over 33 years, accused Rubio of violating school board policies and questioned her “personal ethics” when she allegedly solicited campaign funds for her Assembly election, which is this Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The solicitation was to a current BPSUD school vendor. “I was contacted by some contractors who perform services for the Baldwin Park School District. Blanca Rubio personally solicited them for money. Board policy strictly prohibits them from this type of activity. So again, you talk about unethical practices and conflict of interest,” Orona added at the meeting.

“I am personally questioning her ethics and personal judgment regarding her husband John Lopez,” Orona stated at the board meeting. He was referring to the rehiring of Lopez while Rubio was a school board member.

Orona goes on to accuse Rubio of violating educational code 1090. “This action may be punishable as a crime,” Orona added. “GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 1090 1090.(a) Members of the Legislature, state, county, district, judicial district, and city officers or employees shall not be financially interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity, or by anybody or board of which they are members. Nor shall state, county, district, judicial district, and city officers or employees be purchasers at any sale or vendors at any purchase made by them in their official capacity.” Orona was referring to this code as a conflict of interest and violation of the Government Ed Code as Ms. Rubio was a board member during her husband’s rehire and soon after promotion.

Orona goes on to point out John Lopez’ arrest for a controlled substance.

“This individual, John Lopez (Rubio’s husband), was recently arrested at Margaret Heath Elementary for being under the influence and in possession of dangerous and narcotic drugs,” Orona said. He then accuses Rubio of “trying to cover it up.”

“(During this arrest) where was Blanca during the danger and violent threats to the school,” Orona said. “She chose the option of remaining silent and prevent the public of knowing this was her husband,” he said.

Orona concluded with the request of starting a recall against Rubio and requested that the political leaders in attendance begin an investigation. In addition, Orona said he would send copies to the District Attorney’s office and request an investigation.

The youtube video of the February School Board meeting can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCrzY5YwMeQ&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

Blanca Rubio and Mike Orona both did not respond to emailed questions prior to press time.

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

Animal Control Checking Licenses in Los Angeles County

Staff Reports

Los Angeles County – Officers from the Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) will be conducting field licensing checks in the unincorporated areas of West Covina (zip code 91792), and South San Gabriel (zip code 91770) beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The field checks will ensure that residents’ dogs and cats are in compliance with licensing requirements, the mandatory spay/neuter and microchip ordinance. Officers will also be checking state-required rabies vaccinations and licenses for dogs and cats over four months old.

According to the county officials, beginning January 1, 2014, puppies may be vaccinated at three months old, but still are not required to be vaccinated until four months of age.

“Securing a dog or cat license is essential to assisting animal control agencies if a pet becomes lost,” officials said.

Pet owners are advised to be in compliance with licensing and the mandatory spay/neuter and microchip ordinance if they reside in any unincorporated area of Los Angeles County (or contract city that has adopted the County’s ordinance).

Residents not in compliance will be subject to license fees and delinquency charges, including a $40 field enforcement fee to offset the cost of the Department’s field services.

“In order to avoid penalties, be sure your pet is licensed,” officials urge residents.

New animal license applications are available online at www.animalcare.lacounty.gov, or by visiting any local Los Angeles County animal care center. Owners of pets whose license is not delinquent can simply renew the license at county website: www.animalcare.lacounty.gov .

In addition, DACC offers low-cost vaccination/microchips clinics (microchips are now $15, which includes an AVID registration) and low-cost assistance (for individuals who qualify) for spay and neuter surgeries.

“Sell Your Casa” With Gil Rivera

Gil Rivera offers a 4% Total Commission for Sellers. For more information, call (877) 888.SOLD (7653), email GRiveraEmail@gmail.com, or visit SellYourCasa.com. Call today for a free market evaluation.

Gil Rivera offers a 4% Total Commission for Sellers. For more information, call (877) 888.SOLD (7653), email GRiveraEmail@gmail.com, or visit SellYourCasa.com. Call today for a free market evaluation.

By Sarah Sanchez

Southern California – In this day and age, it’s important to know all aspects of your business. For Gil Rivera from Sell Your Casa Realty, he definitely knows every aspect of buying and selling a home. Rivera is a reliable, experienced, and affordable Realtor, Broker, and Certified Appraiser.

Rivera sells houses, condos, and two- to four-unit investment properties in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. He also does real estate appraisals for banks, estates, taxes, trusts, divorces, attorneys, refinances, and home purchases.  Rivera also has assistants that work with him who are fluent in Spanish and Chinese, which helps him to reach people of different dialects all over Southern California.

With a 24-year proven track record of success, Rivera has sold homes in 26 different cities throughout Southern California.

“I can do this because I appraise homes in so many different cities and have the knowledge and expertise associated with your marketplace. Give me an opportunity and you will surely be happy you did!” Rivera said.

Rivera’s philosophy is to “treat my clients the way I want to be treated.” In fact, Rivera said that he became a Realtor because he did not like the way his Realtor treated him when he was buying his home. Rivera shows respect for his clients at all times. He listens to what they say, so that he can better serve them.

Rivera also does not push his Buyers into a sale. “I always tell Buyers: ‘You will know right away when we walk into the house that’s meant for you.’  Rivera said, “Whether it takes a week or months, my Buyers will always be satisfied with their purchase and are never pressured into it.”

Rivera’s Sellers love the fact that he offers a discounted commission, but with full service. Rivera offers a 4 percent Total Commission for Sellers, which includes 2.5 percent to the Buyer’s Agent and 1.5 percent to Rivera’s office. Most Realtors negotiate a 6 percent commission because they have to split the fees with their brokerage. But, Rivera passes on the savings to the Seller. This will save the Seller thousands of dollars in commission fees.

Rivera’s team offers full service for that discounted rate, including high quality flyers, professional photos, open houses (as allowable by the Seller), and extended advertising coverage on the Internet and social media.

Rivera absolutely loves what he does. He loves selling homes to Buyers because he helps fulfill their dreams of home ownership. His favorite part of selling homes to is transferring the keys to the excited new owners.  Rivera also loves selling homes for Sellers. He enjoys the individuality that each property offers and promoting the positive attributes of the home.

Rivera says, “Many agents spend their time showing houses….I sell them!”

For more information, call 877-888-SOLD (7653), email GRiveraEmail@gmail.com, or visit SellYourCasa.com. Call today for a free market evaluation.

Huff Supports National Bullying Prevention Month

Senator Alarmed by Reports That Many Students Face Daily Harassment, Especially Those with Life Threatening Food Allergies

 

Photo Courtesy: Twitter

Photo Courtesy: Twitter
Senator Bob Huff

Courtesy of Senator Bob Huff

San Dimas: Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) announced his support earlier this month for National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, aimed at reducing or even preventing bullying on school campuses, playgrounds and elsewhere. The effort, created by the organization STOMP Out Bullying, observes October as a time to raise awareness and education.

“I am greatly concerned by statistics that show one out of every four students in America deal with the threat of bullying every single day of their lives,” said Senator Huff. “Being the target of a bully is a scary fact of life for far too many children and teenagers. The good news is we can take action to prevent harm done to our children. One of those steps is to raise awareness to the issue and then confront it.”

According to statistics:

  • 1 out of 4 kids are bullied
  • 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school
  • Depending on their ages, up to 43% of kids and teens report being cyberbullied
  • 8% of kids stay home from school each day due to the fear of being bullied
  • 1/3 of children with life threatening food allergies are bullied

One particular form of bullying concerning Huff is that which is aimed at children who suffer from life threatening food allergies. A recent study from the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics discovered the following: “31.5 percent of the children and 24.7 percent of the parents reported bullying specifically due to food allergies, including threats with foods, primarily by classmates.”

“Children who suffer from food allergies face serious consequences, which could include grave outcomes, if they are bullied with the very food that can kill them,” said Senator Huff. “This is a serious threat that has recently come to my attention through my previous legislative work on this issue.  School should be safe for all students and hearing stories from children who have been spit at in an attempt to get them sick is heartbreaking.  I am looking at possible legislation to address this particular form of bullying before it gets worse.”

Senator Huff represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties.

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

Local Women’s Group Donates Army Of Stuffed Animals

Photo By: Raymond Mendoza GFWC Federated East Valley Women’s Club President Mary Matson (center) stands with her members and their donation of stuffed animals, which was given to Volunteer Chaplain Carol Gardner (fourth from the left) for San Antonio Regional Hospital's program of comforting hospital-ridden children and the elderly.

Photo By: Raymond Mendoza
GFWC Federated East Valley Women’s Club President Mary Matson (center) stands with her members and their donation of stuffed animals, which was given to Volunteer Chaplain Carol Gardner (fourth from the left) for San Antonio Regional Hospital’s program of comforting hospital-ridden children and the elderly.

By Raymond Mendoza

SGV – Going to the hospital can be a scary experience for anyone, but for children and the elderly it can be especially daunting and seemingly unfriendly.  To help keep their minds off their ailments, the Federated East Valley Women’s Club is donating more than 100 stuffed animals to provide some much needed comfort.

According to Mary Matson, President of the Federated East Valley Women’s Club – which is also a part of the General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC) – her group heard about the need for these stuffed animals from Volunteer Chaplain, Carol Gardner, at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland. Matson said this is the first time the club has ever donated stuffed animals to a hospital, but that the cause was seen as worthwhile and uplifting.

“It means comfort for all of our patients,” Gardner said. “Just to hang onto something fluffy – it reminds them of home and it brings them peace.”

Gardner also noted that she was glad the club got donations like stuffed animal snakes, pigs and tigers, because young boys are sometimes less enthusiastic about stuffed animals that are meant for girls.

Gardner said she and the hospital staff were thrilled with the donation from the Federated East Valley Women’s Club, and that the group has agreed to give an annual donation of stuffed animals to continue to provide comfort to various patients.

“These (stuffed animals) will be given to children when they come into emergency, and they will take them home when they leave,” Matson said. “They will also be given to ambulances drivers to carry on their truck, as well as to an accident scene. We know that this will be a heartwarming experience for us, in knowing that we are helping calm a scared child.”

On Thurs., Sept. 3, the club met at the Peppertree Café in Glendora for anything but a normal meeting, since this time they were hauling their bags of stuffed animal donations with them – all ready to be used as comfort devices.

Matson said that the organization has a myriad of different charitable prospects and that currently the group donates to Relay for Life, Operation Smile, various academic scholarships, Chips for Kids, Military shelters, Read Across America, forest restoration, USO and Wounded Warriors, Ronald McDonald House, Roosevelt Elementary School with Box Tops for Education, Hope Partners, UNICEF International, eyeglasses for the Lions Club, cell phones for Soldiers, Domestic Violence Projects, and Santa’s Helpers for Villacorta Elementary School in La Puente.

Matson noted that they most recently raised $2,290 for the American Cancer Society at Diamond Bar’s annual Relay for Life event, and received a thank you note from UNICEF for their Nepal Earthquake relief donation.

The club shows no signs of slowing down after their most recent donation since Matson said they have their sights already set on a new venture – helping homeless veteran women and their children by donating to the National Veteran’s Organization.

Matson said her club jumps at any chance to help out the needy and that they will continue to help various organizations in the San Gabriel Valley area, in any way that they can.

“There are many more projects that we have and will do, depending on the need.”

Matson invites anyone in the area interested in joining the club to call her at (909) 418-0418.

Glendora: It’s A Dirty Job

Photo Courtesy: Troy Case/LASD

Photo Courtesy: Troy Case/LASD
First responder, Deputy Noe Ramos

Staff Reports

Glendora – On Sun., Aug. 30, at approximately 8:40 p.m., a vehicle went 300 feet over the side of a cliff at Glendora Mountain Rd. and Glendora Ridge Mtwy., about six miles north of Glendora in the Angeles National Forest.

Deputies Noe Ramos and Jeff DeMooy of the San Dimas Sheriff’s Station were the first on scene. A first aid and CPR instructor, Ramos heard there were six people still in the Audi, so he scrambled over the side and made his way down the embankment to the car, assisted by DeMooy. Passers-by quickly joined in the effort to get help to the crash victims as soon as possible.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, it was soon discovered that two of the car’s occupants – the ones not wearing seatbelts – were ejected from the car. Ramos stayed with the six injured passengers for hours and medically triaged them until they could all be extracted from the crash site and taken to the hospital. Breathing dirt and helicopter fuel got him “a little dirty” said Ramos.
Ultimately, six people were rescued through the teamwork of numerous Los Angeles County Sheriff San Dimas Station Deputies, San Dimas Mountain Rescue Reserve Sheriff Deputies, Los Angeles County Fire Department Firefighters, Angeles National Forest Rescuers, and California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers.
While there were no fatalities, some of the injuries were very serious.  The joint effort included the Los Angeles County Fire Department airlifting several of the crash victims to area hospitals. Two Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopters spent about two hours on scene in hazardous conditions, and a fire truck was used to add special lighting for rescuers. The incident is being investigated by the CHP.
Our local mountain roads lead to some beautiful vistas and excellent outdoor recreational activities. This incident is a stark reminder of the hazards of these challenging roads. The passengers in this car did not anticipate or appreciate this outcome for their Sunday evening drive. Please reduce your speed and wear your seat belts. The life you save may be your own.

Smooth Aire Heating And Air Conditioning

Where quality beats price

 

By Claire Lewis

SGV – Smooth Aire strives for excellence. Since 2008, this heating, ventilation and air conditioning company has been dedicated to providing customers with the best in quality, service and pricing.

Smooth Aire has always tried to keep the current economy in mind, and they know that providing energy efficient solutions to your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) needs will help keep your home and your family more comfortable.  And with 100% financing (OAC), it has never been easier to install a system to meet your current needs.

Smooth Aire is a Trane Comfort Specialist, and they install well-known and respected Trane products so you can be sure you are getting the best quality available.  They also provide services for Water Heaters, Insulation and Gas Leak repairs.

With summer temperatures soaring, now is the time to make that call to ensure that your air conditioning unit is performing at its peak, and that your system can easily make the transition into the upcoming seasonal changes.  Service calls are just $49, and Smooth Aire will work hard to ensure your trust and give you the best solutions possible.

Smooth Aire:  Where Quality Beats Price!  Call them today at (626) 523-2476 to get a free estimate on an HVAC installation or replacement unit.  They are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  See their ad on page 8.

University of California Is For Bears, Bruins And Banana Slugs, Not Cash Cows

Photo Courtesy:  Wikipedia

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia
California’s 29th District Senate Republican Leader, Bob Huff

By Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas)
The University of California should be a beacon of opportunity for California students; but in recent years, there’s been a clear trend at UC campuses to turn away too many of our own California students in favor of higher paying, out-of-state students and foreign elites. This crowding out of our own high school graduates from UC schools is a trend that can’t be allowed to continue.

The numbers tell the story: UC officials claim state budget cuts have forced them to admit more and more out-of-state students. This makes some fiscal sense, because those out-of-state students pay nearly triple the tuition charged to California residents.  But this year, fully one out of three freshman students admitted to UC campuses are from out-of-state.  And, despite past assurances I’ve gotten from UC officials, some of those out-of-state students are receiving financial aid that’s been paid for with California taxpayer dollars. Not only is that not fair to California families, if this trend continues we could soon see the day when the majority of students entering the University of California aren’t from California.

And while UC officials claim that state budget cuts are forcing them to turn more and more to out-of-state students and the dollars they bring, that’s not the whole story.  After all, there’s more to fiscal management than simply grabbing more dollars. There’s also controlling costs, and that’s where UC officials don’t have a very good story to tell. In the past 20 years, UC has tripled its hiring of non-faculty administrators.  That’s a big increase in spending for some very expensive bean counters and pencil pushers.  And it’s a tough increase to justify.  For comparison’s sake, over the same period UC was busy tripling its administrative staff, the California State University actually cut its administrative staff by a third.
We can do better. Our students deserve better. That’s why I signed on this year as co-author of SCA 4, a proposed Senate Constitutional Amendment which places a ten percent cap on UC out-of-state admissions.   SCA 4 also freezes UC tuition for the next five years, and bars out-of-state students from receiving financial assistance from California families.  SCA 4 protects our students while imposing a little fiscal discipline on UC’s educational bureaucracy.

SCA 4 likely won’t make it through the Legislature this year, and that’s a shame, because now the people will be denied a chance to vote for its important student protections.
Education is the great equalizer, because education is what turns opportunity into real world success. If we truly want to battle income inequality and increase opportunity for Californians, it’s time to protect UC’s educational opportunities for California students.

Senator Bob Huff serves as the Senate Minority Leader and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter @bobhuff99.

San Gabriel Valley: Job Fair

Staff Reports

SGV – California’s unemployment rate has continued to fall, dipping to 6.3 percent in June after sitting at 6.4 percent in May. The state added nearly 23,000 new jobs during the month, indicating California employers are still actively adding to their workforce.

With more than 1.9 million new jobs since February 2010, California continues to top all other states for job growth. Companies are hiring, and job fairs are playing a key role in connecting those looking for work with employers.

Mission Valley Church in San Gabriel will open its doors to job seekers and those who are contemplating career changes when it hosts the free San Gabriel Valley Job, Resource and College Fair on Wed., Aug. 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The church is located at 1201 S. San Gabriel Blvd. in San Gabriel.

“We believe that Mission Valley Free Methodist Church exists to be a loving community that invites and challenges people to move closer to Christ,” said Senior Pastor Dave Fukuyama. “Being a loving community means we extend God’s love and hope to our neighbors who live in our city. Fifty four percent of the residents who live in San Gabriel have immigrated to the United States seeking employment in order to provide a brighter future for themselves and their families. We are hosting this job fair to let people know that God cares about their desire to find employment and so do we.”

More than 40 employers, including many of the region’s leading companies, government organizations, staffing agencies, nonprofit organizations and other businesses, are expected to be in attendance recruiting employees to fill open positions ranging from entry-level jobs for high school and college graduates to positions for experienced professionals and military veterans.

Job-seekers will have the opportunity to meet and interview for a variety of positions – all in one day – including jobs in accounting, administration, clerical, customer service, education, financial services, health care, nursing, law enforcement, management, manufacturing, non-profit, sales, transportation and more. A host of employment resources and higher education institutions will also be on hand to discuss additional opportunities.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet, network and interview with representatives with all participating organizations. To register, visit www.missionvalleyfmc.org/#/job-fair, call (626) 285-6788 or email office@mvfmc.org.

A separate, free pre-fair resume writing and interviewing workshop on Wed., Aug. 12, is also available for job seekers wanting to take better control of their future employment prospects. The workshop will help participants update their resumes, search for positions online, dress for success and prepare in advance to handle common interview questions.

Presented by DeVry University, the workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Mission Valley Church. Only those attending the workshop will be given a priority “fast pass” for prompt entry into the Aug. 19 job fair. To register, visit www.missionvalleyfmc.org/#/job-fair.

The Latest On Recent Telephone Scams

Beware and warn elderly friends

 

Staff Reports

San Dimas – Most of us have become – regrettably – accustomed to unwanted telemarketing calls to our cell and home phones.  But what do you do if the caller identifies as the IRS, law enforcement, bank employee, or other legitimate-sounding authority?

The San Dimas Sheriff’s Station would like to remind you to not allow yourself or an elderly relative to fall victim to phone scams by reviewing the following information and becoming aware of these true examples of fraud situations:

  • “I’m from the IRS and you owe $2,300 now to avoid an audit….”
  • A caller identifies himself as a Deputy Sheriff and demands payment of a fine for failure to appear for jury duty.
  • A caller represents himself as “tech support,” promises to send a rebate for recent computer problems, and asks for information about computer login passwords.  The caller then accesses the victim’s computer, locks it, and demands ransom to unlock the computer.
  • A caller demands a withdrawal of $5,000 from the victim’s bank, threatening arrest without compliance.
  • A caller represents himself as the grandson of the elderly, and asks for a wire of $5,000 to bail out of jail.
  • A caller represents himself as a Police Officer in a far-away state, demanding payment of a fine to keep a relative out of jail.
  • A caller says he’s kidnapped a victim’s daughter, demanding that the victim go to a bank and withdraw $4,700 to release her. The caller had information about the daughter’s school.  She was located safe and unaware.
  • “A new government program will provide free debt relief for 90% of your outstanding credit card debt.  All you have to do is send us $500.”

First of all, DO NOT MAKE A PAYMENT OF ANY KIND without verifying the information through a reliable source.  NEVER provide a caller with your social security number, birth date, account details, or any other private information. Any legitimate caller would already have this information.

The vast majority of these calls are scams.  Legitimate persons with whom you do business will contact you via conventional means, and none will require payment via wire transfer, electronic debit card such as a “Green Dot” card, or checking account routing number.

Often, scammers who operate by phone don’t want to give you time to think about their pitch; they just want you to say “yes.” But some are so cunning that, even if you ask for more information, they seem happy to comply. They may direct you to a website or otherwise send information featuring “satisfied customers.” These customers, known as shills, are likely as fake as their praise for the company.

Here are a few red flags to help you spot telemarketing scams. If you hear a line that sounds like this, say “No, thank you,” hang up, and file a complaint with the FTC:

  • You’ve been specially selected (for this offer).
  • You’ll get a free bonus if you buy our product.
  • You’ve won one of five valuable prizes.
  • You’ve won big money in a foreign lottery.
  • This investment is low risk and provides a higher return than you can get anywhere else.
  • You have to make up your mind right away.
  • You trust me, right?
  • You don’t need to check our company with anyone.
  • We’ll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit card.

Scammers use exaggerated — or even fake — prizes, products or services as bait. Some may call you, but others will use mail, texts, or ads to get you to call them for more details. Here are a few examples of “offers” you might get:

  • Travel Packages – “Free” or “Low Cost” vacations can end up cost­ing a bundle in hidden costs. Some of these vacations never take place, even after you’ve paid.
  • Credit and Loans – Advance fee loanspayday loanscredit card protection, and offers to lower your credit card interest ratesare very popular schemes, especially during a down economy.
  • Sham or ExaggeratedBusiness and Investment Opportunities – Promoters of these have made millions of dollars. Scammers rely on the fact that business and investing can be complicated and that most people don’t research the investment.
  • Charitable Causes – Urgent requests for recent disaster relief efforts are especially common on the phone.
  • High-StakesForeign Lotteries – These pitches are against the law, which prohibits the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail. What’s more, you may never see a ticket.
  • Extended Car Warranties – Scammers find out what kind of car you drive, and when you bought it so they can urge you to buy overpriced – or worthless – plans.
  • “Free” Trial Offers – Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products – sometimes lots of products – which can cost you lots of money because they bill you every month until you cancel.

Everyone’s a potential target. Fraud isn’t limited to race, ethnic back­ground, gender, age, education, or income. That said, some scams seem to concentrate in certain groups. For example, older people may be targeted because the caller assumes they may live alone, have a nest egg, or may be more polite toward strangers.

When you get a call from a telemarketer, ask yourself:

  • Who’s calling, and why?The law says telemarketers must tell you it’s a sales call, the name of the seller and what they’re selling before they make their pitch. If you don’t hear this information, say “no thanks,” and get off the phone.
  • What’s the hurry?Fast talkers who use high pressure tactics could be hiding something. Take your time. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about an offer before asking you to commit to a purchase.
  • If it’s free, why are they asking me to pay?Question fees you need to pay to redeem a prize or gift. Free is free. If you have to pay, it’s a purchase, not a prize or a gift.
  • Why am I “confirming” my account information, or giving it out?Some callers have your billing information before they call you. They’re trying to get you to say “okay” so they can claim you approved a charge.
  • What time is it?The law allows telemarketers to call only between 8 am and 9 pm. A seller calling earlier or later is ignoring the law.
  • Do I want more calls like this one?If you don’t want a business to call you again, say so and register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. If they call back, they’re breaking the law.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has an excellent site, including a breakdown of some common types of scams, as well as advice on appropriate actions. http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams.

Be wise, and don’t fall prey to phone scams. PLEASE share this information with elderly persons and others who might not have access to computer-based information.  If in doubt, call the FTC, your local Police, Sheriff’s Station, lawyer, or knowledgeable business professional for advice.

The San Dimas Sheriff’s Station may be reached at (909) 450-2700; or call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or visit www.ftc.gov/complaint .

 

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.”

San Gabriel Valley: Church Youth Leader Arrested

Photo Courtesy:  SBSD  Yanhao Ren

Photo Courtesy: SBSD
Yanhao Ren

Staff Reports

Rowland Heights – On Sun., July 12, just before midnight, CHP Officers conducted a welfare check on the occupants of a vehicle parked in a turn-out of Highway 330, near Fredalba Road in San Bernardino County.  A 24-year old male and a 13-year old female were found in the back of the vehicle. According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – in cooperation with personnel from the California Highway Patrol’s Lake Arrowhead Office and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Twin Peaks Station – Detectives from the Crimes Against Children Detail arrested Yanhao Ren (aka Eric Ren), 24, of Fullerton, on Mon., July 13, for engaging in a sexual relationship with the victim, 13, of Rowland Heights.

Ren has been a youth leader for the Evangelical Formosan Church of Rowland Heights for the past two years, and has attended that church since 2006.  The victim met Ren while attending youth programs there. They told officers they have been involved in a sexual relationship since May. Investigators have determined that during the following months they engaged in several sexual acts in the counties of Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino.

Ren was booked into the Central Detention Center on charges of Sex Crimes, Sodomy, Oral Copulation, Penetration with a Foreign Object and Kidnapping (all with a child under the age of 14).  He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail and was arraigned on July 15 at the San Bernardino Justice Center.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective John Everman at the Crimes Against Children Detail, at (909) 387-3615.

July 2015 SGV News

2015-07-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: 2015-07-SGVNews-WEB