Category Archives: Our Life

Take This Time to Become Your Best Self

Nancy Stoops

I know many of you are struggling with the Pandemic and all that goes with it.  Think about how many times you wished for sometime for yourself.  Well now you finally have it.  Use this time that we are all needing to stay home and lower the number of cases as a way to improve yourself.  Think about what it would feel like to become your best self. 

            Take out a piece of paper and fold it in to three sections. In the first section write all your qualities you want to keep.  In the second section write all the qualities you don’t want anymore.  In the third section write down all of the qualities to wish you add to your already wonderful self.  Now set some goals on how to start working on your plan.  For example, if you are feeling depressed start exercising and keeping a mood journal.  Each day write down how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way.  Look for the day you feel better and create a recipe based on what you did that day to make you feel better.  You can do the same thing with anxiety.  Write down all of the lies that are causing you fear and then find the truth through evidence from your past.  Think about all that you have already survived.  Meditation can be a very effective tool as well to quiet our minds and combat anxiety.

            Use this difficult time to your advantage.  Take this time to work on you.  I also recommend taking time to enjoy nature. Witnessing a beautiful sunrise or sunset can be a very wonderful way to adjust one’s attitude and mindset.  Please know I have faith that we will all come out better versions of ourselves and grow from all that we are dealing with.  Please don’t lose faith in yourself or this amazing world that we are so very blessed to live in!!!!!

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger.    For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at (909) 229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net.

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 markh@efreedb.org.

Diamond Bar High Freshman Runs 30 Days to Feed Families

Kelli Gile

Diamond Bar – After months of being cooped up in quarantine, incoming Diamond Bar High School freshman L’Mio Edwards decided to get moving to help make a difference during the global pandemic.

Diamond Bar High freshman L’Mio Edwards ran a 5K a day for a month to raise funds during COVID-19. Photos courtesy of Smotherman Images.

During the summer, the talented track star ran a 5K (3.1 miles) for 30 straight days in her quest to feed families impacted by COVID-19.

Step by step, her efforts totaled 93 miles while raising funds for the New Earth non-profit organization that distributes free weekly groceries.

“People need to eat, especially during this coronavirus,” the 14-year-old said.

The #5KaDay4Food Challenge kicked off May 26 and has netted $9,600, just a few hundred dollars shy of her $10K goal.

“I’ve been running since around the third grade,” she said during a recent KNBC interview.

“After running for so long I thought I might use it for something if I’m going to be stuck at home.”

L’Mio began preparing her mind and body for the feat by completing a 6K each day for two and a half weeks prior to the event.

Her father, Deon, drove by her side during every run to ensure his daughter’s safety during the entire fundraiser.

The teen now happily sees others partnering in the #5KaDay4Food Challenge that provides assistance to food banks around the nation.

They donate and pledge to run their own 5Ks for 30 days, she said.

“Some people choose to run only a few days or whatever they can handle – which is equally awesome!”

She also joins 5Ks in various communities to continue raising funds for the cause.

“If you want to see a positive change in the world, it starts with yourself,” L’Mio says of her personal motto.

“This was a cool way of getting to know more people in the community and overall a great experience!”

Additionally, U.S. Congressman, Representative Gil Cisneros recognized the Diamond Bar teen for her successful fundraising efforts on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on July 21.

“Using her gift as a talented runner, she committed to running a 5K a day for 30 consecutive days in order to raise money for local food banks and help families in need. Our CA39 is so proud of her!”

Visit www.GoFundme.com/f/5KaDay4Food to support the fundraiser.

My Little Miracle Named Jaida

Nancy Stoops

A few weeks ago, I had to put down my Midnight. He was thirteen years and four months old.  I was devastated and to my surprise this wonderful girl named Jaida came along to adopt.  I couldn’t believe she came along the same week I had to put my Midnight down.  My dogs have to be exceptional because they are therapy dogs.  I got her on a Saturday and on Sunday she was in the office seeing patients just like Midnight did. I believe Midnight sent Jaida to me.  It’s crazy how much they look and behave alike.  I feel so very blessed to have had Midnight and now to have Jaida.

We are going through some tough times but we need to focus on what we have not what we have lost.  We need to be filled with gratitude each and every day. We need to take sometime and look for the blessings that are bestowed upon us on a daily basis. Take this time that we are all needing to staying home to work on becoming your best selves.  Don’t be anxious and depressed instead practice being hopeful, grateful, relaxed, positive and have faith in yourself and in our world that we will come out better individually and as a nation.

Every morning when Jaida and I walk I celebrate another day by witnessing the sunrise and I’m truly honored by another day of life and being witness to such natural beauty.  Every evening as the sunsets and fills the sky with a rainbow of magnificent colors I feel peace in knowing I survived yet another day and was filled with gratitude, joy and hope.  Please keep believing in miracles and in our world. Both Midnight and Jaida my miracles have changed my life!!!!!

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger.    For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at (909) 229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net

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 markh@efreedb.org.

Autism Mom: School

Melody Kraemer

Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths

We had made it through March, April, May, June, and July, and we anticipated August. August was when school was going to start. It may not have been the traditional full learning days or even five days a week, but we would be back on campus.

Every day my little one asks me for school. I told him on August 10th. That was my mistake; I had high hopes. As the days got closer, the excitement got higher and I was so happy for him.

He doesn’t understand why he is home. He doesn’t understand anything about this pandemic around him. All he knows is he stopped going to school. I know he misses his daily routine, his classes, his teachers, and learning.

Every day he would tell me, “We go school August,10th!”

Then one afternoon, the governor came on and declared it was not safe to go back that only distance learning will take place until at least the end of August. Sadness filled my heart and the worrying about how I would explain this to him crossed my mind as I looked at my little boy.

Now I am all for safety and health, so when it is safe to go back, we will go back to school. Though try and explain that to an autistic child. 

I have to tell him his teacher is sick, that is why he can’t go to school. That statement does satisfy him. Thank goodness, he understands that much.

I am frustrated that distance learning will be part of our lives once again, which did not have a positive impact on our daily life back in March, April, and May. My two autistic boys had the hardest time with distant learning, but we will have to make the best of it and see where it takes us. We can only hope and pray that by the end of August, we will be able to step back on to the school campus and move forward. Though until then I have to trust God above and lean on his understanding and not mine. Better days are ahead; I do believe that. 

Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of Macaroni Kid Jurupa Valley-Eastvale and Autism Mom Adventures. For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com.

Autism Mom: Patience!

Melody Kraemer

Ephesians 4:2 | NIV
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in
love”


Someone once told me that they don’t pray to God for patience because if you ask God for more patience, he will give you more things to be patient about in the day.
With my two boys, I sure don’t need that.


So how do I ask God to get me through the day? I pray for peace and
calmness within myself. My (autistic) boys will jump, climb and put anything
they find in their mouths. They will lick windows, pick up bugs, once my son
put a bee in his mouth!


Some days I feel like I’m a jumping bean watching after them. I find myself looking up to the heavens many times and saying, “I’m losing it here, help.” Usually, by noon, I am so drained, all my patience is gone. Though I know God heard my prayer because at that moment, my oldest boy will come up to me, put his arms around me and say, “Mom, I think you need a hug”. Or my little one who is not much on words will crawl up in my lap and put his head down on me, just at that moment when I feel I no longer have the patience to deal with life. I may get pushed over my limit on patience throughout the day, but I know God is there, putting calmness in my heart. Life and raising kids is all about love, understanding, grace and a whole lot of patience. I thank God daily for the patience I have.


Melody Kraemer is the Editor
and Publisher of Macaroni Kid Jurupa Valley-Eastvale and Autism Mom Adventures. For
more information or general encouragement, feel free to email
her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com.

Saying Goodbye to Midnight

Nancy Stoops

I rescued Midnight was he was two years old.  He was so well behaved that I got him on Saturday and on Sunday he was going to work with me to see patients.  He was very calm, highly intelligent, loving, compassionate, he had a fabulous read on people, and had a zest for life that few do. Just like myself, he was very clear that he was put in this world to help people.  At two he tested to be a registered therapy dog and passed with flying colors the first time.  This was important because I had an emergency hysterectomy that I should have died from but St Jude’s Hospital saved my life. During my stay they brought a therapy dog to visit with me.  I felt to pay them back for saving me Midnight and I would volunteer there and we did for the next seven years.  We also spent seven years in their cancer center visiting patients as well

            Midnight seemed to just be abandoned by his family and was in a shelter when Westside Shepard Rescue found him and brought him to their Los Angeles location.  Nobody wanted him because he was a black dog.  Well I was the one that got lucky and got to adopt him.  You can read his story in a book on Amazon entitled Midnight the Therapy Dog. My grandson Taiko and him are the same age and literally grew up together.  When Taiko would play Midnight would guard him and look out for him.  They would play fetch but Taiko enjoyed sleeping over and his morning walks with Midnight the most.

            Midnight lived to take care of me and he did that so well.  He was the best friend I have ever had. His entire existence was about making sure I was good and happy.  He refused to sleep till I was in bed sleeping.  When my mom passed last year, he laid by her bed for three days until she took her last breath.  Everybody loved him and he was famous in our community and around the world with the people I met on my travels. He will be so very missed but will live in my heart and soul eternally!!!!

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger.    For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at (909) 229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net

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 domestickindness.org. 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 markh@efreedb.org.

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.

Voortman’s Egg Ranch

By K.P. Sander

Ontario – Voortman’s Egg Ranch has been in the business of providing farm fresh eggs to friends and visitors to the local area for over 60 years. Originally from Bellflower, the Voortman family – who has always been in the egg ranching business – moved their operation to Ontario in 1951.

(Photo Courtesy: Voortman’s Egg Ranch)
The Voortman Family circa 1956. Voortman’s Egg Ranch is located at 13960 Grove Avenue in Ontario. You can reach them at (909) 465-1319. They are open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Voortman’s has a small-town farm ambiance, with the latest in technology.  Their happy chickens are enjoying their newly remodeled home; and their egg-processing machine can handle about 36,000 eggs per hour at its peak. If the average bird lays one egg about every 26 hours, that equals a lot of chickens at the Voortman ranch!

Did you know that you can tell how fresh an egg is by how high the yolk stands up in the frying pan after you crack it?  Voortman’s will have your over-easies standing tall.  Their fresh eggs are the highest in quality, with dark, nutrient-dense yolks.  You will immediately notice a difference in your cooking and baking.

Have you ever wondered how long the eggs in the grocery stores have actually been sitting around?  Despite the use-by date, there is really no way to know how long ago they were produced.  With Voortman’s, the eggs are selected daily, on site, and readied for you in their store.

Third-generation egg rancher, Eddie Voortman, says, “We are a local, family-owned business that provides fresh, quality products to the public.”

Customers of Voortman’s rave about their all natural, cage free eggs, touting the freshness, and great pricing.  One customer said, “They make the fluffiest scrambled eggs!”

The eggs come in all sizes and colors, depending on your needs.  Whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed.

Voortman’s is centrally located just minutes from Chino at 13960 Grove Avenue in Ontario (just north of Edison).  You can reach Voortman’s at (909) 465-1319; and Like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Voortmans-Egg-Ranch-101350886592418/

Stop by any time Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WVUSD Offers Free and Reduced-Priced Meals Through National School Lunch, Breakfast Programs

Kelli Gile

Walnut – Walnut Valley Unified School District announces its program offering nutritious meals to every student, every school day under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

Online meal application is available now www.lunchapplication.com or visit us online at www.walnutnutrition.org.

The household size and income criteria identified below will be used to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price, or full-price meal benefits. Children from households whose income is at or below the levels shown here are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Children who receive CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR benefits may be automatically eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household in which they reside. Please contact Nutrition Services to verify if you have been Directly Certified, otherwise you may be asked to pay full price for meals.

Effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income is less than or equal to the federal guidelines.

Households do not need to turn in an application when the household receives a notification letter saying that all children automatically qualify for free meals when any household member receives benefits from CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR. Children who meet the definition of foster, homeless, migrant, or runaway, and children enrolled in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals. Contact Nutrition Services if any child in the household is not on the notification letter. The household must let Nutrition Services know if they do not want to receive free or reduced-price meals.

Applications will be sent to the household with a letter about the free and reduced-price meal program. Households that want to apply for meal benefits, must fill out one application for all children in the household and give it to the Nutrition Service Office – 880 South Lemon Avenue, Walnut, CA 91789.

Households may turn in an application at any time during the school year. If you are not eligible now, but your household income goes down, household size goes up, or a household member starts receiving CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR, you may turn in an application at that time. Information given on the application will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school officials. The last four digits of the Social Security number from the adult in the household completing the meal benefit application or checking that you do not have a Social Security number is required if you include income on the application.

Households that receive Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits, may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals by filling out an application.

Foster children are eligible for free meals and may be included as a household member if the foster family chooses to also apply for the non-foster children on the same application. Including foster children as a household member may help the non-foster children qualify for free or reduced-price meals. If the non-foster children are not eligible, this does not keep foster children from receiving free meals.

Your child’s eligibility status from last school year will continue into the new school year for up to 30 school days or until Nutrition Services processes your new application, or your child is otherwise certified for free or reduced-price meals. After the 30 school days, your child will have to pay full price for meals, unless the household receives a notification letter for free or reduced-price meals. Nutrition Services does not have to send reminder or expired eligibility notices.

If you do not agree with the decision or results of verification, you may discuss it with school officials. You also have the right to a fair hearing, which may be requested by calling or writing the hearing official:
Brandon Dade, Director of Pupil Services ~ 880 South Lemon Avenue, Walnut CA 91789 ~ (909) 595-1261 x 31311

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at the Filing a Program Discrimination Complaint as a USDA Customer page External link opens in new window or tab., and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call 866-632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: 202-690-7442; or

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
Based on your annual earnings, you may be eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit from the Federal Government (Federal EITC). The Federal EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The Federal EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, Federal EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, low-income housing, or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families payments. Even if you do not owe federal taxes, you must file a federal tax return to receive the Federal EITC. Be sure to fill out the Federal EITC form in the Federal Income Tax Return Booklet. For information regarding your eligibility to receive the Federal EITC, including information on how to obtain the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 797 or any other necessary forms and instructions, contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-3676 or through its Web site at www.irs.gov.

You may also be eligible to receive the California Earned Income Tax Credit (California EITC) starting with the calendar year 2015 tax year. The California EITC is a refundable state income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The California EITC is treated in the same manner as the Federal EITC and generally will not be used to determine eligibility for welfare benefits under California law. To claim the California EITC, even if you do not owe California taxes, you must file a California income tax return and complete and attach the California EITC Form (FTB 3514). For information on the availability of the credit eligibility requirements and how to obtain the necessary California forms and get help filing, contact the Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-852-5711 or through its Web site at www.ftb.ca.gov.

Potential 3/4-Cent Sales Tax Measure on the November 3, 2020 Ballot

Staff Reports

Diamond Bar – In 30 years as an incorporated city, Diamond Bar has maintained its status as a desirable community in which to live, work and visit. Contributing to this status are the safe neighborhoods, well-maintained roads, and clean and attractive parks, trails and recreation facilities. The City has been able to do its part to keep Diamond Bar looking and operating its best and to provide the programs and services valued by the community by practicing responsible fiscal discipline and thoughtful budgeting.

Although the City’s current financial condition is strong, Diamond Bar faces long-term financial challenges that will impact the City’s ability to continue to meet the community’s needs and priorities. In 2019, the City completed an extensive effort to assess its long-term financial outlook in light of growing costs and the absence of new revenue streams. This effort concluded that Diamond Bar is approaching a financial crossroads where measures will have to be taken to align expenditures with revenues. These measures may include deferring maintenance of roads and landscaped areas, delaying or abandoning plans for new construction or renovations of parks and public facilities, or paring down municipal services to core necessities.

Potential Sales Tax Measure: With expenditures anticipated to outpace available resources in the near future, the City is taking steps to ready itself for this fiscal challenge. Identifying new locally-controlled revenue streams to ensure the City can continue to provide and improve on existing service levels is one of these steps. Placement of a three-quarter sales tax increase measure on the November ballot is still under consideration by the City Council. For more information please sign onto www.diamondbarca.gov.

Planes of Fame Air Museum

Courtesy: Planes of Fame Air Museum

Chino – After nearly a decade of wheeling and dealing to collect his first ten aircraft, Ed Maloney opened the Museum on January 12, 1957.

The site was a former lumber yard in Claremont, California. The sign out front read simply, “The Air Museum.” There was no need to be more specific. At the time, no other air museums existed west of the Mississippi River.

Ed continued to grow the Museum, acquiring new aircraft, aviation artifacts, and memorabilia. By 1962, the Claremont facility had run out of space. At this same time, a new idea began to take shape – why not restore some aircraft to flight? To achieve this would require an airport-based location.

In June 1963, the Air Museum relocated to Ontario Airport in Ontario, California. Occupying two hangars, the Museum now had a home large enough to display the collection and room to conduct restoration work.

A few years later, in 1970, a unique opportunity surfaced. The non-flying, static aircraft moved to Buena Park, California to become part of the “Movie World: Cars of the Stars and Planes of Fame Museum.” Housed in two large buildings on Orangethorpe Avenue, the Southern California attraction remained open until 1973.

With the closure of Movie World, the next chapter in the Museum’s history saw yet another relocation. The Chino Airport, located on the border of the cities of Chino and Ontario, California, was an ideal location for the display of the ever-expanding collection, provided room for the important restoration work, and offered plenty of airspace for flying demonstrations.

Another significant change occurred with the opening in 1974 of the Chino facility. The Museum was given a new name. Combining the current “The Air Museum” with the “Planes of Fame” moniker, the Museum hereafter would be known as the “Planes of Fame Air Museum.”

Over the next forty-plus years, the Museum would continue to flourish. New additions to the collection continued. Restoration work put several rare and unique aircraft back into the sky, including the Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero, the Boeing P-26 Peashooter, and the Northrop N9MB Flying Wing. The annual Airshow commenced, thrilling the public with the sights and sounds of bygone eras. Film and television work, and several air racing victories by staff and volunteers brought added notoriety to the Museum.

Chino remains the base of operations for the Museum. Seven hangars house the collection with several additional buildings including the Aviation Discovery Center, the Research Library, the Model Room, and a small theater. Altogether, including structures and outside tarmac displays, the Chino location comprises a 14-acre campus. The collection now numbers close to 160 aircraft, and nearly a quarter of these fly regularly.

With our mission to guide us, and Ed’s vision to lead the way, the Museum flies on into a very bright future.

Planes of Fame Air Museum is located at 14998 Cal Aero Dr, Chino, CA  91710-9056 and can be reached at (909) 597-3722. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit planesoffame.org for more information and history.

Father’s Day Essay Contest Winners!

Addison (8) and Kaitlyn (6)

Our dad is the coolest because he is the best snowboarder we have ever seen. He is always so determined, and he fought for his life. He had a brain bleed in 2019 and fought so hard to stay alive. He is also a great fireman. He has saved many lives.
Our dad is hilarious and he always plays pranks on us. He always plays with us. My dad is always there for us when we really need him. He cuddles with us, laughs with us, and always loves us.
My dad once in a while he gives us wheel barrow rides. We have so much fun! Also he loves gardening. Every spring we plant a big garden. On special occasions my dad makes chicken piccata. It is our favorite food.
Another thing that makes our dad cool is because he loves to surf. My dad is a great surfer. Something that makes my dad special is he loves to go on bike rides. When my dad is home we always go on bike rides. My dad loves going to the beach. In the summertime we always go. When my dad was 14 years old he started playing water polo.
These are the reasons why our dad is the coolest.

Maya (17)

Dad, you are very special
You mean so much to me
There aren’t many Dad’s like you
Who give so selflessly and teach resilience

When life has turned my world completely inside out
You are always there to lean on

This world has many heroes,
You’d know most by name,
It’s apparent they gave their personal best,
And they deserve the fame

But, among all of the heroes this world has ever had,
There is not one that I admire more than my precious, Dad
He’s more than just a hero, he never looks for praise,
He’s heroic in his in his quiet strength and in his various caring ways
He may not be famous as those you hear about or see,
But he’s so much more than a hero ought to be

Whenever things go wrong
And I don’t understand
I know that you will be there to lend a helping hand

The years have brought so many memories and adventures
For those have helped me grow
You’re guidance and empathy is what made me who I am
There’s not another dad who can ever take your place

He keeps his word, its good as gold, on this you can depend
He’s honest and loyal just to name a few,
Compassionate, Kind, Supportive, and Adventurous
I’m proud to call him my father

When I hear about a hero and the special things they have done,
It reminds me of my Dad for he is the COOLEST one out there!

Alice (37)

I truly appreciate that my dad always emphasized how he values me more than things. When I lost his favorite camera, after promising to take good care of it, and was sobbing as a high school freshman into the phone… I remember my dad asking if I can see my hands, then he asked me to focus on my pinkie. He told me my little pinkie finger was more valuable to him than that camera. He told me that items can be bought, but my well-being can not and that THAT was more important. Even years later, when I was in college, and crashed his car, I still remember my dad touching my pinkie and telling me that he was just happy that I was alive and unharmed.

I really appreciate how my dad loves me unconditionally. Even when I ran away from home and disobeyed all his house rules. He wanted to toss me out of the house in my rebellious years, but he never did. He tried hard to understand the filter of life that I was experiencing and compromised with me where he could. Even when I rejected his love back then, called him “uncool” and even yelled that I hated him (to his face), he didn’t cease to stop loving me.

I don’t think I truly realized all he did for me until I had my own child. Parenting isn’t easy and it was then that I began to realize how much my dad did for me. He worked hard to provide for me. Loved me even in my worst moments. Now that I’m a parent myself, I understand now how his worry and love for me had resulted in how he reacted to my early years. I realized how lacking my parenting skills are in comparison to my dad’s awesomeness. It was then I realized how cool he truly was… My dad is a cool dad indeed.

Singing DBHS Counselor Sends Message of Hope in Weekly Videos

Kelli Gile

Diamond Bar High GLC Dave Desmond delivers weekly virtual sessions and music during COVID-19 quarantine.

Diamond Bar – Unprecedented times are challenging educators to go to great lengths for their students amid the global health crisis.

Take Diamond Bar High School grade level coordinator (GLC) Dave Desmond, for example.

For the past eight weeks, he has been sending video messages to homebound students using social media.

From his living room, Desmond presents counseling strategies in easily digestible bites, capped off by performing a song on his acoustic guitar.

“We’re still in coronavirus time and unfortunately it looks like we will be here a longer,” he said on April 9.

The 27-year veteran educator has literally opened up his home for the virtual sessions directed to his sophomore class and he doesn’t seem to mind.

“This isn’t something I would have done in the past,” he shared.

“I normally keep my private life to myself, but these are strange times.”

His only fear was playing and singing in front of the world.

“I thought, man, if there’s some way that me providing a little entertainment for my students will distract them from the general sadness of this time for a bit, well, that would be cool,” he said.

“And hopefully they’re listening to the counseling as well!”

His colleagues are also reaching out with regular communications via videos, newsletters, and emails.

“The other GLCs and I really miss seeing the kids and having that daily connection with our students,” he added.

Desmond said the team relies on seeing kids face-to-face and “counseling via the phone, email, or zoom is kind of tough.”

“This is just another way to let them know we care about them and are thinking about them.”

Each week, Desmond clicks through a PowerPoint presentation featuring topics normally discussed during the school year.

Themes have ranged from goal setting and college applications to financial aid and preparing for SATs.

Knowing that students are facing increased anxiety due to COVID-19, Desmond admitted that he’s also struggling while living in quarantine on the May 10 broadcast.

“Just like you, I’ve been having a tough time and I think it’s good for all of us to find ways to relieve that stress.”

With that, he began demonstrating how he’s been keeping busy around the house, beginning in the kitchen with a pink frosted cake he baked for Mother’s Day.

Next, he dashed to the dining room for a hand of gin rummy, a game he’s currently playing with his daughter.

“Break up the day by playing a game with your family,” he offered the teens.

“Hey, I just won – that was fun!”

He suggested using DBHS online mindfulness resources including meditation, listening to waterfalls, drawing, music, and even a koala cam.

“Doesn’t he look relaxed? Aren’t you more relaxed just watching this guy?”

Then Desmond pivoted to a doorway to demonstrate a few pull-ups, sprinted to the backyard to hit golf balls, and pull a few weeds.

“Maybe you can help your parents clean up the house a bit,” he suggested to the high schoolers.

Desmond even shared a weekend project he’s been working on.

“See this patch of dirt – it will soon be transformed into a putting green!”

Being sheltered-in-place is the time to set small goals each day including academic, physical and social activities, and finding a way to help the family, Desmond suggested.

“Make dinner or write a letter to grandma and grandpa.”

“But, one of my favorite things to do to manage stress is playing a tune,” he said wrapping up the segment.

And with that, he picked up his guitar and belted out “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.

Desmond coordinates his tunes with each video theme from a memorized playlist of about 50 songs, including “Where is My Mind” by the Pixies, “Midnight Special” by Credence Clearwater Revival, and “Help Me, Stranger” by Jack White of the Raconteurs.

“Hold on, Brahmas, we’re going to get through this!” he exclaimed with a fist pump to the camera.

His message during May’s Mental Health Awareness Month is for students to keep doing their best.

“Do your best to live your life with some sense of normality while staying safe, do your best to help your family and friends get through this odd, difficult time, and do your best to take care of yourself. There’s so much about this situation that is beyond our control, so focus on what you can control and be good to yourself and to everyone around you.”

Celebrating the Simple Things

Nancy Stoops

I believe each day that we have the honor of being alive is call for celebration. Every morning as I awake and see the sun rising and filling the sky with majestic colors I am reminded of how lucky we are. As I step out in the morning with Midnight my therapy dog I feel blessed for his friendship and for the health that we both have. As we start our walk through our wonderful community I am proud to be part of it and I enjoy the morning song of the birds around us. As we walk I enjoy the trees and flowers that represent life in the neighborhood. Midnight and I are greeted by the other daily walkers with a friendly smile and warm hello. It’s so nice to be part of such a wonderful neighborhood filled with such lovely people. Sometimes the other dogs will visit with Midnight as we make our way through our neighborhood and that makes Midnight a very happy soul.


I think the feeling of the sun on my face is just magical. The fragrant plants and flowers are intoxicating and so very delightful. Swimming or floating in water has always been very freeing for me. Laughter truly is the best medicine and I think we all could do a lot more of it. Looking up at a night sky filled with stars and a full moon can be an experience that provides a wonderful kind of solace. Just hanging out with my grandson is fabulous.


These simple things I speak of don’t cost any money but are literally priceless. I think if we all take time to appreciate the simple things that are so wonderful in our world we will be more positive. I think then we will not dwell so much on what is wrong but focus on what is right. I know we are all struggling to look at what’s right in our world and celebrating the simple things helps us do just that. I have faith that we all are going to get through these difficult times and come out better people for it!!


This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T. Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members. Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger. For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at 909 229-0727. You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net. You may purchase Nancy’s books Life Heal and Grow and Midnight the Therapy Dog at Amazon.net.

Diamond Bar, Walnut High Make U.S. News’ Best of 2020

Walnut – After crunching the numbers, U.S. News and World Report released its annual report of top performing public high schools in the country on April 21.

And it’s no surprise that Diamond Bar and Walnut High Schools continue to lead the way through exceptional dedication to the success of all students.

This year, Diamond Bar High ranked #25 in Los Angeles Metro Schools, #68 in California, and #519 in the nation. Additionally, Diamond Bar placed #77 in STEM high schools.

Walnut High scored #35 in Los Angeles Metro Schools, #84 in California, and #601 in the nation.

The U.S. News Best High Schools rankings include data on more than 24,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Nearly 18,000 schools in the country, and 1,612 in California, were reviewed for performance in state assessments, graduation rates, and how well they prepare students for college.

Diamond Bar and Walnut offer an extensive roster of IB and AP courses to provide students with an opportunity to challenge themselves with college-level course work during high school.

“I’m very proud that Diamond Bar and Walnut High continue to be recognized on a national stage in preparing students for the next chapter in their lives,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.

“This is a wonderful recognition for our students, parents, teachers, and school leaders!”

Additional information at: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

C.J. Morris Elementary Teacher Bakes Through Pandemic

Kelli Gile

Walnut —On a recent Saturday, C.J. Morris Elementary teacher Jennifer Veneracion eagerly removed the jar containing a bubbling yeast concoction from her kitchen cupboard.

After four days of stirring and waiting, the fermented starter was finally ready to be combined with a few cups of all-purpose flour and mixed into silky dough.

She would spend the next several hours methodically kneading, allowing for rising, and repeating before shaping and popping in the oven.

And when the timer sounded, out came the steamy, crusty loaves of success.

The C.J. Morris Elementary Title 1 Specialist has joined legions of homebound bread bakers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Veneracion decided to learn a new skill at the onset of stay-at-home orders that began in mid-March.

“Bread making seemed fun to do as well as something the entire family could enjoy, and it could carry on after the quarantine,” she explained.

The novice baker had always been too intimidated to attempt baking from scratch.

“I was afraid the rising dough would grow so big that I couldn’t handle it,” said admitted.

“It feels silly now that I’ve learned more!”

The baking got off to a slow start because the educator first became a student desiring to learn all about her new hobby before donning an apron.

First, she bought a bread book for beginners, and then became immersed in reading recipes, articles, and following popular bakers including Amber’s Kitchen and Bonnie O’Hara on social media.

And then there was the shortage of flour and yeast on supermarket shelves due to the surge in quarantine baking.

But once Veneracion started, she was “hooked.”

During the past several weeks, she has cooked up traditional Filipino Pan De Sal bread, ventured into loaves, sandwich breads, tortillas, cinnamon rolls, and more.

Her tried-and-true techniques include keeping the right tools at hand: a big bowl, kitchen towels, kitchen scale, and food thermometer.

And before each baking session she measures out all the ingredients, puts them in different containers, and then combines as directed.

“Kneading the bread is key,” she added to the list of tips.

“You might think the dough is too wet, but if you continue to knead it, it will develop gluten which will make it firmer.”

Veneracion has discovered the restorative magic of the experience.

“Now that I’ve learned a lot, bread baking as become a form of therapy for me,” she said.

“Teaching remotely and getting my three kids on track with their work is rough, so unplugging and working on a recipe is both relaxing and rewarding.”

In the end, Veneracion’s family decides if each bake is a winner.

“My kids are pretty honest and will tell me if the bread is a hit – with reactions ranging from ‘Mom, this is amazing’ to ‘Whelp, it’s bread, I guess,’” she said.

“Either way, I’m hoping they see the importance of learning a new skill, celebrating the successes, and powering through the failures.”

Autism Mom: Mother of Two Autistic Boys

Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version (NKJV)-
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”


This time of “social distancing” and “shelter in place” has presented challenges for all of us.


The kids are adjusting to a new routine, and we adults are trying to be creative and positive.

My life before “shelter in place.”


Kids attended school. They had homework and weekends off. We went out to eat, attended events, saw movies, said hello to people, and gave them hugs. Family gatherings and seeing friends were a part of our life. Parks, playgrounds, shopping, and socializing is what we did.
After “Shelter in place.”


Kids are home all day. Teaching autism kids from “social distancing” is not my forte. Many tears have been shed, mostly by mommy. Video conference calls have become the norm, and we can have up to five a day with all the boy’s services and school. Masks now has to be worn when we are out. We no longer visit people or go to places. The confusion and lack of understanding bring frustration to my boys.


We are thankful for the technology we have to be able to communicate by all means and even have a face to face talk with loved ones. Being creative, making the best out of the situation, having faith and staying positive is vital. We are taking a day at a time and riding this wave out. Life changes all the time, sometimes more extreme than we would like, but it happens

.
All we can and must do is trust in God above.

Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of Macaroni Kid Jurupa Valley-Eastvale and Autism Mom Adventures. For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com.