Category Archives: Weekly News Top Stories

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.

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.

LA County Fair Canceled Due to COVID-19

Staff Reports


Pomona – The LA County Fair, slated for Sept. 4-27, was recently canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is the first time the LA County Fair has been canceled since World War II. Since the fair’s opening in 1922, the fair has only been canceled once from 1942 to 1947 due to the war. The fair did close for one day on Sept. 22, 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but it reopened the following day.


The 2020 LA County Fair was canceled due to the “limitations placed on large public gatherings by state and county public health officials because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Renee Hernandez in a news release. “For the safety and well-being of guests, Fair officials are following the guidelines of public health officials who are advising against large public gatherings for the remainder of the year,” added Hernandez.


The LA County Fair sees approximately “1.1 million guests during its 19-day run and has an estimated economic impact of $324 million annually in Los Angeles County, with $58 million in the City of Pomona and securing more than 500 full-time equivalent jobs,” according to the news release. The Fair is expected to celebrate their 100-year anniversary in 2022.


Fairplex President and CEO Miguel A. Santana says that the decision to cancel the event was not easy to make. “My heart is heavy, for our guests who come out to make memories, our vendors who rely on the Fair circuit for their income and our employees who work so hard all year-long to create this special event,” Santana said. “The LA County Fair is an iconic event that celebrates the best of Southern California. It is beloved by many. But we had to take into consideration the health and safety of everyone.”


Los Angeles County Fair Association Board of Directors’ Chair Heidi Hanson agreed by saying they had no choice but to cancel, even though it was hard to do. “The one thing we can promise is that the LA County Fair will be back, better than ever – especially as we plan for our Centennial,” added Hanson.


Los Angeles County First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis also spoke about the cancellation, since the Fair resides in her district. Solis said it will be disappointing, but necessary to miss the end-of-summer celebration, according to the release.


“Like many of you, I grew up eagerly anticipating each year’s opening of the LA County Fair, and I cherish my family memories of this special yearly event,” said Solis.

“Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel the LA County Fair due to our current public health crisis. We must make these short term sacrifices to preserve the health of the people we love. We do this to protect our communities. I am certain that once we get through this challenging time, we will come back stronger and even more appreciative of the things we love and hold dear.”


Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger also commented on the closure, since a portion of the Fairplex is located in her district.


“Like every fan of the LA County Fair, I am saddened to hear of its cancellation this year. I love the Fair and have many fond memories from my experiences with family and friends,” Barger said. “But we are in the middle of a major public health crisis and our priority is the safety and well-being of all of our residents. Through our efforts to slow the spread, I know we will soon be able to enjoy activities like the LA County Fair again.”

That sentiment was echoed by the head of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd. “Our recovery journey is underway, but it will be a slow one. Working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 is our new normal for the foreseeable future. But I have faith that if we continue to make these difficult but necessary decisions now, we will be able to enjoy all that the LA County Fair has to offer next year.”


Those who have already purchased season pass boxes were informed that they can receive a refund. The following three refunds options are available: credit toward the 2021 Fair plus one extra season pass; turning their purchase into a donation to the Fairplex COVID-19 emergency fund for the community; or a full refund. Information on refunds can be found at www.lacountyfair.com/refunds.

The Fairplex in Pomona, CA has been the home of the LA County Fair for years, in addition to the 300 year-round events. However, they announced they are canceling the remainder of its self-produced events for the rest of 2020, including June’s Cheers Wine, Beer and Food Festival; Fourth of July spectacular KABOOM!; Oktoberfest; and the Day of the Dead celebration En Memoria.


However, the Fairplex has continued its community benefit mission by working with partners to offer coronavirus testing, hold drive-thru food pantries and offer free childcare for the children of healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers at its Child Development Center. For more information on Fairplex, visit www.fairplex.com.

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.

Diamond Bar, Walnut High Robotics Teams Help Fight Pandemic

Walnut — Over the past several weeks, tech savvy teens from Diamond Bar and Walnut High Schools quietly answered a call to aide first responders during the global pandemic.

When students learned of the dire shortage of personal protective equipment for frontline medical staff and how anyone with a 3D printer could fill the void – they sprang into action.

Diamond Bar High’s DB Engineering and Team Sprocket robotics partnered with parent Joe Bloomfield, owner of Spyder3D, to design and manufacture reusable 3D printed facemasks and face shields.

Six members of the school’s Printed Works Club are creating a facemask that must be easily printable by those new to 3D printing, require little post-production work, be reusable, and accept multiple types of filters.

“Our team has developed a working prototype that meets all of our requirements,” said senior Logan Tang of the facemask that can also be easily scaled to fit different face sizes.

Next steps include calibrating the strap attachment points to increase comfort while holding the mask in place, he said.

Instructional Dean Gabriel Aguilar’s living room is currently in production mode on the project.

Since the school is shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Diamond Bar High administrator brought a bay of 3D printers home to aid a special effort.

“Several community partners contacted us to see how we could leverage our 3D printing and manufacturing capabilities to support the need for face shields,” Aguilar said.

“Rather than collecting dust, these machines are now producing 30 face shield frames per day, using materials donated by Spyder3D.”

WVUSD FIRST Robotics Teams joined forces with the SoCal Makers COVID-19 Response Team to create face shields using 3D printed frames and clear plastic transparency sheets.

To date, Team Sprocket, Walnut Valley Robotics, Aluminati and 2nd Rebellion have provided approximately 600 free face shields to this initiative, which has supported nearly 100 medical centers, including West Covina Medical Center, Pomona Valley Medical Center, and Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

Walnut High’s Wolf Corp Robotics team members are making do-it-yourself (DIY) face shields for health care workers and those providing essential services, including Walnut Valley USD Nutrition Services staff serving weekday Grab & Go meals.

The shields are low cost and very easy to make with three main components: foam, elastic band, and a transparency sheet.

Each member has pledged to construct 15-20 protective face shields from home and over the weekend 50 additional gifts were delivered to essential workers in the community.

Aerospace engineer and mentor Eric Gever established the SoCal Makers initiative organizing groups of colleagues, robotics students, and local makers interested in making a difference and helping to produce the face shields.

Teens are not only solving real-world problems, but getting more interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic.

“While many students may be thinking of this time away from school as an extended break, those who have remained involved in the Socal Makers Response Team have stood to benefit greatly though their participation in this project,” Gever said via Go Fund Me.

LA County Fair Canceled Due to COVID-19

Staff Reports

Pomona – The LA County Fair, slated for Sept. 4-27, was recently canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is the first time the LA County Fair has been canceled since World War II. Since the fair’s opening in 1922, the fair has only been canceled once from 1942 to 1947 due to the war. The fair did close for one day on Sept. 22, 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but it reopened the following day.

The 2020 LA County Fair was canceled due to the “limitations placed on large public gatherings by state and county public health officials because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Renee Hernandez in a news release. “For the safety and well-being of guests, Fair officials are following the guidelines of public health officials who are advising against large public gatherings for the remainder of the year,” added Hernandez.

The LA County Fair sees approximately “1.1 million guests during its 19-day run and has an estimated economic impact of $324 million annually in Los Angeles County, with $58 million in the City of Pomona and securing more than 500 full-time equivalent jobs,” according to the news release. The Fair is expected to celebrate their 100-year anniversary in 2022.

Fairplex President and CEO Miguel A. Santana says that the decision to cancel the event was not easy to make. “My heart is heavy, for our guests who come out to make memories, our vendors who rely on the Fair circuit for their income and our employees who work so hard all year-long to create this special event,” Santana said. “The LA County Fair is an iconic event that celebrates the best of Southern California. It is beloved by many. But we had to take into consideration the health and safety of everyone.”

Los Angeles County Fair Association Board of Directors’ Chair Heidi Hanson agreed by saying they had no choice but to cancel, even though it was hard to do. “The one thing we can promise is that the LA County Fair will be back, better than ever – especially as we plan for our Centennial,” added Hanson.

Los Angeles County First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis also spoke about the cancellation, since the Fair resides in her district. Solis said it will be disappointing, but necessary to miss the end-of-summer celebration, according to the release.

“Like many of you, I grew up eagerly anticipating each year’s opening of the LA County Fair, and I cherish my family memories of this special yearly event,” said Solis. “Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel the LA County Fair due to our current public health crisis. We must make these short term sacrifices to preserve the health of the people we love. We do this to protect our communities. I am certain that once we get through this challenging time, we will come back stronger and even more appreciative of the things we love and hold dear.”

Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger also commented on the closure, since a portion of the Fairplex is located in her district.

“Like every fan of the LA County Fair, I am saddened to hear of its cancellation this year. I love the Fair and have many fond memories from my experiences with family and friends,” Barger said. “But we are in the middle of a major public health crisis and our priority is the safety and well-being of all of our residents. Through our efforts to slow the spread, I know we will soon be able to enjoy activities like the LA County Fair again.”

That sentiment was echoed by the head of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd. “Our recovery journey is underway, but it will be a slow one. Working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 is our new normal for the foreseeable future. But I have faith that if we continue to make these difficult but necessary decisions now, we will be able to enjoy all that the LA County Fair has to offer next year.”

Those who have already purchased season pass boxes were informed that they can receive a refund. The following three refunds options are available: credit toward the 2021 Fair plus one extra season pass; turning their purchase into a donation to the Fairplex COVID-19 emergency fund for the community; or a full refund. Information on refunds can be found at www.lacountyfair.com/refunds.

The Fairplex in Pomona, CA has been the home of the LA County Fair for years, in addition to the 300 year-round events. However, they announced they are canceling the remainder of its self-produced events for the rest of 2020, including June’s Cheers Wine, Beer and Food Festival; Fourth of July spectacular KABOOM!; Oktoberfest; and the Day of the Dead celebration En Memoria.

However, the Fairplex has continued its community benefit mission by working with partners to offer coronavirus testing, hold drive-thru food pantries and offer free childcare for the children of healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers at its Child Development Center. For more information on Fairplex, visit http://www.fairplex.com.

DBHS Senior Surprised with $40,000 STEM Scholarship from So Cal Edison

Diamond Bar — Diamond Bar High School senior Sean Chang is one step closer to realizing his dream of becoming an engineer.

This week he was named a 2020 Edison Scholar, a prestigious award that comes with a $40,000 college scholarship from Edison International.

A surprise announcement had been planned during Sean’s fourth period orchestra class with school officials, parents, and a representative from Southern California Edison.

There would have been lots of cheers and maybe a few tears when the big check was revealed.

But, it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 epidemic and resulting school closures.

Sean instead received an email video notification with the news, and he’s OK with that.

“This scholarship means a lot to me because it lifts a huge burden off my parents’ shoulders and will grant me additional education opportunities in the future,” he said.

Sean is among an elite group of 30 dynamic and innovative high school seniors in Southern California Edison’s service territory to receive a total of $1.2 million through the Edison Scholars Program this year.

Edison Scholars have bright futures ahead and these scholarships help turn innovative ideas into real-world solutions.

Sean loves the beach and has always been troubled by the amount of trash and pollutants that he sees sprawled across the shores.

After a summer internship at Boeing, he realized that he wanted to build a machine to clean up these pollutants while protecting aquatic ecosystems.

“As an aspiring engineer, I hope to create hundreds of cost-efficient ROVs (remotely operated underwater vehicles) that are connected through a large network, that can automate and expedite the clean-up of our oceans,” he said.

Sean plans to attend University of Pennsylvania next fall and study mechanical engineering.

He is captain of the Walnut Valley Hydromechs Robotics team and a member of the Diamond Bar Symphony Orchestra.

Each Edison Scholar will receive a scholarship, paid over four years, to further their academic pursuit of STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, or math studies – at a four-year accredited U.S. college or university.

Centro Basco: Menu and Temporary Hours of Operation

WVUSD Closes Due to COVID-19

Staff Reports

Walnut – On March 13, Superintendent Robert P. Taylor announced that all Walnut Valley USD schools will be closed for five weeks, effective Monday, March 16. The schools will re-open on April 20.

“I appreciate your support during this challenging time,” said Taylor in a statement he sent to all parents and guardians. “As the parent of three children, I certainly empathize with the stress, fear, and inquiry that this time period has caused for many parents/guardians.”

Taylor said that the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) recommended that all schools in Los Angeles County close and/or be dismissed for a minimum of two weeks due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). After this announcement, the WVUSD Board of Trustees held an Emergency Meeting to discuss their plan of action. According to Taylor, the Board “approved a resolution through an emergency measure” that granted the Superintendent the authority to “take all appropriate action to respond to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

“I have decided to dismiss (‘pupil free’) schools effective immediately, followed by all schools being closed through Spring Break (5 weeks),” stated Taylor.

From March 16 to 18, students will be dismissed, and it will be considered a “Pupil Free” day. However, the entire school will be closed from March 19 to April 17. Additionally, all extra-curricular activities and athletics have been postponed.

“We continue to prioritize the health and wellness of students and staff as our highest concern,” said Taylor. “Given the advisement of Public Health, medical experts, and other state and county entities, we have decided to allow an appropriate amount of time for students, staff, and families to follow advice of medical practitioners and experts, practice healthy habits, and lessen opportunities for the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

“I recognize that my decision will impact everyone differently,” continued the Superintedent. “Our District will be working with staff to lessen the academic gap that typically occurs over extended recesses from school. Next week, parents and students will be notified of curricular resources that can be utilized during the school closure.”

In addition, he said that additional information will be provided next week, and all schools will answer questions and discuss next steps. “While this is an extremely difficult decision, I also am confident that it was made with the best interest of our staff and students in mind,” stated Taylor.

COVID-19 Patient Visits Walnut, Dies in Pomona

Staff Reports

Walnut – On March 11, the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PCHMC) announced that a patient who passed away at their hospital confirmed positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This was the first reported COVID-19 death in Los Angeles County.

On March 9, the patient went to the hospital by ambulance and was in full cardiac arrest. Staff provided lifesaving care to stabilize her condition. Based on her travel history and symptoms, the patient was placed in isolation and infection control protocols were implemented according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). LACDPH authorized to obtain samples for COVID-19 testing, but the patient died shortly after “due to complications from their illness,” according to a PCHMC statement. On March 11, LACDPH confirmed the patient tested positive for COVID-19.

A family member disclosed the patient’s travel status, which included a residence in the City of Walnut. However, the County confirmed that the individual “did NOT circulate around the City of Walnut and stayed primarily at the residence,” according to Walnut Public Information Officer, Melanie Tep. She stated that the City is communicating with LA County’s Department of Public Health for more information regarding the patients’ travel details. “We will communicate more information as it becomes available from the County.”

In addition, the LA County Department of Public Health confirmed that the patient’s family members are currently in quarantine.  PCHMC is also following LACDPH guidelines for the staff that came into contact with the patient.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the patient and family,” said Daniel Gluckstein, MD, Medical Director of Infectious Disease at PVHMC. “At this time, our top priority remains protecting public health and ensuring the safety of our patients, visitors, Associates, physicians, volunteers and community.”

“We understand people are feeling anxious about potential exposure to coronavirus, but we want to reassure our patients and their families that the risk of exposure from this case is low,” stated a PVHMC statement. “PVHMC remains a safe, high-quality facility to seek medical care.”

The City of Walnut issued a reminder stating that Public Health continues to recommend that the public do the following to protect themselves and others from respiratory illnesses:

• Stay home when you are sick.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
• Facemasks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and and those directly caring for people who are sick and by people who are sick (source control).
• Get a flu immunization if you have not done so this season.

COVID-19 Patient Visits Walnut, Dies in Pomona

Staff Reports

Walnut/Pomona – On March 11, the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PCHMC) announced that a patient who passed away at their hospital confirmed positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This was the first reported COVID-19 death in Los Angeles County.

On March 9, the patient went to the hospital by ambulance and was in full cardiac arrest. Staff provided lifesaving care to stabilize her condition. Based on her travel history and symptoms, the patient was placed in isolation and infection control protocols were implemented according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). LACDPH authorized to obtain samples for COVID-19 testing, but the patient died shortly after “due to complications from their illness,” according to a PCHMC statement. On March 11, LACDPH confirmed the patient tested positive for COVID-19.

A family member disclosed the patient’s travel status, which included a residence in the City of Walnut. However, the County confirmed that the individual “did NOT circulate around the City of Walnut and stayed primarily at the residence,” according to Walnut Public Information Officer, Melanie Tep. She stated that the City is communicating with LA County’s Department of Public Health for more information regarding the patients’ travel details. “We will communicate more information as it becomes available from the County.”

In addition, the LA County Department of Public Health confirmed that the patient’s family members are currently in quarantine.  PCHMC is also following LACDPH guidelines for the staff that came into contact with the patient.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the patient and family,” said Daniel Gluckstein, MD, Medical Director of Infectious Disease at PVHMC. “At this time, our top priority remains protecting public health and ensuring the safety of our patients, visitors, Associates, physicians, volunteers and community.”

“We understand people are feeling anxious about potential exposure to coronavirus, but we want to reassure our patients and their families that the risk of exposure from this case is low,” stated a PVHMC statement. “PVHMC remains a safe, high-quality facility to seek medical care.”

The City of Walnut issued a reminder stating that Public Health continues to recommend that the public do the following to protect themselves and others from respiratory illnesses:

• Stay home when you are sick.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
• Facemasks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and and those directly caring for people who are sick and by people who are sick (source control).
• Get a flu immunization if you have not done so this season.

Intro to Composting: Free Smart Gardening Workshop

Teacher Arrested On Suspicion Of Cruelty To Student

Staff Reports

Chino Hills – A teacher in Chino Hills has been arrested for allegedly attacking a student at school according to a news release issued by the Chino Hills Police Department.
On January 24, officers investigated a report about a 6-year-old- boy who was allegedly attacked by his teacher the day before at Butterfield Ranch Elementary School in Chino Hills.
Police identified the teacher as Tina Bozikis-Coccia, 62. The alleged incident happened on Jan. 23 at 2:20 p.m. at the elementary school. The specifics of what happened were not provided by officials.
Following an investigation, Bozikis-Coccia was arrested on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child, according to the news release.

Walnut Valley USD Trustees Laud Star Parents, Students

Suzanne Middle School parents Betsy Castellanos and Sonal Choksey honored with Partner in Education Awards. Shown with Principal Dr. Amy Smith and Board President Larry Redinger. Also shown with staff and family members.

By Kelli Gile

WALNUT, CA–During the January 15 meeting, the Board of Trustees paid tribute to stellar students and parents from Maple Hill Elementary, Walnut Elementary, and Suzanne Middle School.

Maple Hill Elementary 4th grader Irene Park honored as winner of 2019 holiday greeting card contest. (Shown with Principal Kelly Morris and Board President Larry Redinger.

Maple Hill Elementary 4th grader Irene Park received a certificate of special recognition as the winner of the 2019 holiday greeting card contest. Irene’s creative submission depicted a friendly snowman in a winter wonderland scene. The contest was open to third and fourth grade students throughout the District. Irene also received a gift card courtesy of Yogurtland in Walnut.

WVUSD Board of Trustees honors Walnut Elementary fifth grader Alicia Clark with Super Star Student Award on Jan. 15. Shown with Principal Robert Chang and Board President Larry Redinger.

Walnut Elementary fifth grader Alicia Clark was spotlighted with the Super Star Student Award. Alicia is an outstanding student who always has a positive attitude in everything that she tackles. She displays great enthusiasm toward learning and academics, and gives 100% effort in class projects, assignments, and tests. She is involved in singing, dancing, and acting, and her creative talents have earned an award for a short film in China. She also displays exemplary leadership qualities while guiding and teaching her peers how to sing and dance. Additionally, Alicia is one of the few students on campus who is helping choreograph the upcoming Lunar New Year Celebration.

Parent volunteer Stella Hess receives the Partner in Education Award. Shown with Principal Robert Chang, Board President Larry Redinger, staff, and family members.

Parent Stella Hess received the Partner in Education Award for her dedicated work as Community Club vice president and schoolwide volunteer. Six years ago, Stella started out as a classroom helper and quickly found herself “addicted” to volunteering, according to Principal Robert Chang. “She soon was in the Library, carting around our STAR prize store, revamping the whole STAR Store system, heading the library volunteers, cheering at the track meet, reading aloud to our Genius Hour Story Time and Sketch class, chaperoning field trips, and organizing book fairs,” he said. Stella thinks with her heart and makes sure everyone on campus feels welcomes, loved, appreciated, and noticed. She is truly a cheerleader for educating the whole child by making the school a better, happier, safer, and more fun place to learn and grow.

Suzanne Middle School parents Betsy Castellanos and Sonal Choksey honored with Partner in Education Awards. Shown with Principal Dr. Amy Smith and Board President Larry Redinger.

Suzanne Middle School parents Betsy Castellanos and Sonal Choksey were honored with Partner in Education Awards. “They are not only phenomenal volunteers, but also help build stronger school and family relationships,” said Principal Dr. Amy Smith. They have helped raise over $175K as Community Club Booster Fundraiser co-chairs for the past two years. During summer registration, they helped advertise the impact of the parent volunteer group, highlighting technology, field trips, grade level summits, assemblies, and much more. They have a true passion and dedication for students!

Suzanne Middle School 8th grader Calvin Chen presented with Super Star Student Award. Shown with Board President Larry Redinger.

Suzanne Middle School 8th grader Calvin Chen was lauded with the Super Star Student Award for academic achievement, displaying outstanding character, school activities, numerous volunteer efforts, and striving to make those around him successful. Teachers describe Calvin as being “hardworking, a good citizen, respectful, and caring.” Most recently, the talented pianist and violinist was recognized during the Challenger Breakfast while volunteering at the event. Calvin also strives to make the world a better place through his efforts for disaster relief organizations, Breast Cancer Week, Toys for Boys, and tutoring, he is amazing!

Walnut Valley USD Pays Tribute to Top Classified Employees

A Class Act! Maintenance Worker Louie Del Real is named the 2019 Classified Employee of the Year.

WALNUT, CA–The Walnut Valley Unified School District honored to a dozen standout employees during the 22nd Annual Cornerstone Awards held January 23 at the Pomona Valley Mining Company.

Congratulations to the following 2019 honorees: Mary Weir, School Administrative Assistant – South Pointe Middle School; Lydia Garcia, Instructional Aide II-Special Education – Collegewood Elementary; Louie Del Real, Maintenance Worker III – Maintenance; Debbie Brown, Secretary II – Transportation; Susan Tran, Instructional Aide II-Bilingual/Bicultural – Castle Rock Elementary; Lena Tran, Instructional Aide II-Special Education – Maple Hill Elementary; Gary Reyes, Custodian II – Collegewood Elementary; Ron Honore, Custodian II – Walnut High School; Pete Rodriguez, Custodian II – C.J. Morris Elementary; John Archer, Custodian II – Suzanne Middle School; Francisco Espinosa, Custodian I – Diamond Bar High School; and Anita Guerrero, Nutrition Services Worker I – Evergreen Elementary.

Classified (non-teaching) employees work with dedication and commitment to improve the lives of students every day. They feed and transport students, nurture their minds, support teachers and administrators, and create a positive learning environment.

“I truly appreciate all that our classified employees do for kids on a daily basis,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.

“They are the backbone and heart of our organization!”

The monthly Cornerstone Award recognizes exemplary classified staff members who have gone “above and beyond the call of duty” in providing outstanding customer service to the District and community.

Louie Del Real was named the 2019 Classified Employee of the Year at the culmination of the program.

“I work with an awesome team and Walnut Valley is the best!” he commented after accepting the award from Personnel Commissioners Ray McMullen, Michael Cobarrubias, and Gayle Pacheco.

Louie has been a valued Walnut Valley team member for 19 years and consistently rises above all expectations.

He is a talented “Jack of All Trades” craftsman that can tackle everything from carpentry, to painting, HVAC, and electrical work – and he even drives a truck.

“Louie truly cares about the wellbeing of Walnut Valley students and staff and that dedication is reflected in his quality workmanship,” said retired manager and nominator Ron Clouser.

The employee recognition ceremony was hosted by Dr. Matthew Witmer, deputy superintendent of Educational Resources and Dr. Danny Kim, administrative director of Human Resources.

A special thanks to the following sponsors who provided generous support for the Cornerstone Awards: Massage Envy, Benihana Restaurant, Chaffey Federal Credit Union, Schools First Federal Credit Union, California Pizza Kitchen, In-N-Out Burger, Sandy Best-McGriff Insurance, Walnut Valley Educational Foundation, and Lifetouch Photography.

Congratulations to the 2019 Cornerstone Award honorees. Front row: Mary Weir, Susan Tran, Louie Del Real, Gary Reyes, Ron Honore, Lena Tran. Back row: Lydia Garcia, Debbie Brown, Pete Rodriguez, John Archer, Francisco Espinosa, Anita Guerrero.

Centro Basco: French Cuisine in Chino

By Michael Armijo

Chino – If you’re tired of the traditional restaurants in your area you have to try a classy and delicious place locally here in Chino since 1940.

Centro Basco French Restaurant, located at 13432 S. Central Avenue, just south of Chino Avenue, has been the best kept secret and the oldest Basque restaurant in the Valley. Featuring delicious and tasty menu items brought here for the Basque lands stretch along the Pyrennes Mountains in the southern region of France and north region of Spain. The hometown of the owner Monique Berterretche can be found just outside of St. Jean Pied Port, France.

Featuring lunch menu items, served from 11 am to 2:30 pm, such as breaded shrimp, fettuccini Alfred, calamari state, rib eye and flat iron steak, lamb chops and their infamous meatloaf meals, among many other menu items.

Centro Basco also serves burgers and sandwiches: Angus beef, steak, French dip, tuna salad, tuna melt, Lukinka sausage and their infamous meatloaf on sandwich bread, among other items.

For dinner, a four course meal will be impressive among you spouse or your clients. Serving French onion soup, salad, and bread, entrees include Roasted chicken, chicken cordon blue, breast of chicken parmesan, fettucinni alfredo, Lukinka sausage and noodles, fresh baked salmn, trout, breaded shrimp, rack of lamb, angus prime rig (14 oz), rib eye and flat iron steak, veal cutlet or pork loin chops just to name a few!

 During lunch and before dinner you can always relax in their full service bar, open to those who want to have a relaxing drink prior to eating. Always greeted with a smile and a handshake, always feel free to enjoy the Basque family atmosphere.

Their freshly made entrees for lunch or dinner are always made from scratch and always available the four course meal option, with soup of the day, salad, sourdough break, and main course. The freshness of the food is always obvious along with the feeling of the Basqu Country: friendliness and sense of family that is experienced amongst the Basque people. An atmosphere that makes coming to Centro Basco in Chino a unique, memorable and cherished experience.

Centro Basco Restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday and can be reached at 909.628.9014, http://www.centrobasco.com, or just stop by at 13432 S. Central Avenue, just a block south of Chino avenue in chino.

Eastvale Girl Graces New Girl Scout Packaging

            Sunday marks the official start of Girl Scout cookie sale season, and a familiar face will be featured on the newly redesigned packaging.

            Girl Scout Anneliese Brasher, of Eastvale, will be featured on the newly redesigned 2020 packaging for the Caramel Chocolate Chip variety, which debuted as a new gluten-free flavor last year.

          Now a fifth grader, Brasher, 10, has been involved with the Girl Scouts since kindergarten.  She says that her six years of Girl Scouts has helped her to become more confident, outgoing, and fearless. “My Girl Scout sisters always encourage me if I am scared to try something new,” she said.  

          Her chance to appear on the group’s famous cookie boxes came in 2018, when the Girl Scouts ran a contest for the honor. Brasher submitted an application with the simple goal of earning a limited edition patch, answering essay questions about her cookie-selling techniques, goals, and accomplishments within the organization.

            Her primary technique, Brasher said, was to anticipate all the ways a customer could say no, and have a response ready.  Short on cash? “I take credit cards, debit cards, and Venmo,” she said.  Still sticking to your New Year’s diet resolutions?  “It you can’t eat them, treat them!” Brasher said, “we accept donations,” noting that she personally delivers her cookie donations to the local fire department.

In May of 2018, Brasher was notified that she had won the cookie-box contest, selected as the sole Brownie Girl Scout “Cookie Pro” in an organization of 2.5 million – she was sworn to secrecy until the nation-wide debut of the new packaging this year. 

            Her victory included a trip to New York City, where she was able to meet with female business leaders, designers of the new cookie packaging, and Girl Scout CEO, Sylvia Acevedo.

            During the trip, Brasher also participated in a photo shoot for the contest, the results of which are now featured on this season’s boxes of Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies as a part of the packaging redesign that was eight years in the making.

            The refreshed Girl Scout cookie packaging continues to emphasize what the cookie program is all about.  The updated images feature actual Girl Scouts like Brasher, and every package showcases girls participating in a diverse range of leadership experiences from exploring science, designing robots, to adventure-packed camping and canoeing.

            The Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies and other varieties of Girl Scout cookies are on sale beginning January 26, and as always, will only be available for a limited time with sales ending in mid-March. 

            Brasher hopes that her appearance on the box will inspire more girls to join the scouting organization.  “Girl Scouts has given me the opportunity to do things that I never thought I’d get to do – like archery, surfing, indoor skydiving, and or being on a cookie package!  I hope other girls see that they can do anything they dream of too!”

New Young Walnut Mayor

Photo courtesy: Andrew Rodriguez

Staff Reports

Walnut – Andrew Rodriguez was announced as the City of Walnut’s 31st Mayor on July 10, 2019.  He is expected to be sworn in at the next Walnut City Council Meeting.  Rodriguez was first elected to the Walnut City Council on April 12, 2016.  He is the youngest City Councilmember ever elected in Walnut’s 57-year history and is one of the youngest City Councilmembers currently serving among Los Angeles County’s 88 communities.  

Rodriguez calls Walnut his hometown since he was born and raised in the city and attended Walnut Valley Unified schools.  He graduated from Walnut High School with honors and was even a commencement speaker.  “Having been raised in Walnut, I have a vested interest in the city’s future and will make sure that our community continues to be one of the best places to live in both California and the United States,” said Rodriguez on his Facebook page.  

As a graduate from Rutgers University, Rodriguez studied political science, urban planning, and public policy.  He has a diverse political background, including his work on the Los Angeles Mayor campaign in 2013 and his work as a Campaign Fellow for Cory Booker’s U.S. Senate campaign in New Jersey, also in 2013.  His experience in urban planning and development include his time at New Brunswick Development Corporation, where he “researched grants and tax abatements related to a proposed collegiate housing project and was actively engaged with stakeholders to ensure that all aspects of projects remained on track,” according to his website.  He also worked with Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Koretz, where Rodriguez gained experience with permit and license applications, committee meetings, and documents for council deputies.  

In addition, Rodriguez currently works for a Los Angeles non-profit organization helping at-risk youth and is a parishioner at St. Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Church.  Rodriguez is also running for California State Assembly, District 55 in 2020.  

As Walnut Councilman, Rodriguez did a great job updating the community about what was happening in the city.  He made an effort to post development updates, new business openings, and local events that were happening in the city.  He also made an effort to promote small businesses currently in Walnut, in addition to helping new entrepreneurs with the process of starting a new business in the City. 

As Mayor, Rodriguez said he is excited and looking forward to the work again.  “I will continue to be actively involved in our community and look forward to seeing you around our beautiful city!” said Rodriguez. 

Mt. SAC Employee Contract Not Resolved

Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Staff Reports

Walnut– Mt. Sac faculty and administrators have been negotiating for over a year now over a divisive issue: a proposed change to their health insurance plan.

What’s proposed is a move for Mt. Sac Faculty Association members form the State Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) to Self-Insured Schools of California.

The concern for faculty members is that because of the flexibility of Self-Insured Schools of California, the benefits could be reduced down the line and eventually open the door to ending lifetime post-retirement benefits, according to faculty association President Eric Kaljumagi.

A year ago, Faculty Association representatives approved almost all of a new contract with the campus except for the health care component. The snag was that Mt. SAC offered to give the faculty a 1.29 percent raise to help offset the rising costs of health care only if the faculty switched insurance providers, Kaljumagi said

Teachers protested at last week’s Board of Trustees meeting, arguing that while the coverage options may not be very different between the two options, any change could lead to a disruption in care, not to mention changes in coverage in the future.

Because the Faculty Association’s contract was not on last week’s board agenda, board members did not comment on the negotiations.

There was no indication or projection on when the negotiations would be resolved.

Lt. Ronald McDonald

Local News: Lt. McDonald Retires After 53 Years of Dedicated Service to Pomona PD

Photo Courtesy: Pomona PD

By Pomona PD

Lieutenant Ronald McDonald retires today after more than 53 years of service to the Pomona Police Department and the residents of Pomona. 

Ronald began his policing career in 1965. At the time, the Pomona Police Department had its own police academy where Ronald was a graduate of the Pomona Police Academy Class #8. 

Prior to coming to Pomona, Ronald was hired as a Dispatcher and Reserve Officer by the West Covina Police Department.

At the Pomona Police Department, his assignments have included Patrol, Detective Sergeant, Administrative Staff Services, Internal Affairs, Major Narcotics Sergeant, Helicopter Observer, Field Sergeant, Community Programs, Special Operations Lieutenant, and most recently, Lieutenant Watch Commander in the Operations Division.

There is no doubt, Ronald’s 53 years of expertise will be missed by Pomona PD. On behalf of the Pomona Police Department, we wish Ronald a happy and well deserved retirement!