Tag Archives: Jennifer Madrigal

Eastvale: Rocks and Rubies

By Jennifer Madrigal

Eastvale – The following incidents are shared by members of our community, and are anonymous acknowledgments to the great (and no so great) things that happen around town.

  • RUBIES to the nice lady in the SUV in the drive-thru at Starbucks who bought my quadruple shot Frappe and told the cashier to wish me Happy Holidays. Wow! You inspired me to do the same for the person behind me.
  • RUBIES to the amazing Robert the Window Guy, who fixed my window at a very reasonable cost. He also gave my daughter a mirror and brought us a couch to replace the old tattered one we had. I love our Community!
  • RUBIES to Lydia Kray! She recently threw a Shrimp Boil Fundraiser for 75 people at her house in Eastvale for a little 8-year old boy with terminal cancer. She is also a mentor for teens through Inspire Life Skills, which is a program for foster kids that have aged out of foster care; as well as a volunteer for a new company that provides an ICU Mobile Clinic for the underprivileged. Please recognize her. She deserves it!
  • RUBIES to Coach Hector Chavez, who always gives us rides, runs with us, buys us hamburgers after our races, and puts up with a van full of super stinky boys after a race.
  • ROCKS to the people who STILL speed down Hamner Avenue, practically taking out kids walking to school, all while putting their make-up on and throwing trash out of the window.
  • ROCKS to the criminal who stole the package off my front porch! Hope you enjoy all the gauze and first aid products. Sorry it wasn’t the new iPhone 6, but hey, save it for Halloween and you can go as a Mummy!
  • ROCKS to the neighbor who called the Sheriff to claim we had our camper out for a week. It was there for one day so we could pack it up for Thanksgiving! I’m sure you and your non-compliant fence and the old beater car that sits and never moves are in COMPLETE compliance.


Awesome Alethea



Heartbroken but hopeful newlyweds, Alethea and Michael. (Photo Courtesy: Jill Run Photography)

Back in the day of dial-up Internet and Paula Abdul dance rehearsals on the playground, we met a girl with glasses and curly hair who lived with her brother and grandparents on the furthest street in the neighborhood. She always had her nose buried in a book. Her vocabulary was ostentatious and her personality, vibrant.

Alethea, which I remember thinking was quite the mouthful of a name, joined our little group one summer and things were never the same. We added another character to our little group of pubescent girls who said “like” way too much, and wore double-tongued Reeboks with our stacked socks.

Allie, as we called her, was a bundle of life and nothing about her was the same as we were. She was more animated, more intelligent, wittier, and definitely sassier than any of us, but we loved hanging out with her.

As life tends to go on and people grow apart, friends change, and soon Allie was just another face at school I’d casually say hello to. We remained in contact through Facebook and kept in touch over the years.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I opened my page to see that Allie’s previous fight with skin cancer had returned with multiple tumors which had spread throughout her body. Within weeks her life went from happy to tragic as the realization came way too soon that the twilight of her life was coming far sooner than it should.

So what did Allie do? She chose to live, and live abundantly. She traveled, spent time with her love, Michael, and got engaged. Doctors tried new treatments which bought her some time, but ultimately, the cancer came back even more aggressively and she is now on Hospice.

Michael, heartbroken, reached out in hopes of being able to marry Allie and spend the last moments of her life as her husband. Hundreds of friends – both far and near – came together to throw Alethea and Michael a wedding, so he could marry the love of his life.

The wedding was streamed live, and many of us that couldn’t make it to Portland watched from our homes. I watched Allie give this man the last bits of her young life, and watched Michael swear his love to her. ‘Till death do them part’ never meant so much.

Our Alethea – who we played in the streets of Chino Hills with, whose house we played at, and who we shared great memories with – has touched so many lives. As the end of her life draws nearer, she is LIVING; she is LOVING; and she is showing us all the power of that love.

I’ve always known that a deep and true love is one of the greatest gifts one can receive. If that love finds you when you are young and vibrant, or old and gray, it’s a miracle that it found you at all.

A love like Alethea and Michael’s is rare and should be celebrated and admired. For all who have witnessed it firsthand and from afar, we are changed by it. I share this with you to remind you to take the time to cherish the love in your life.

Say a prayer for my sweet friend, Alethea, and her husband, Michael, as she begins her transition from this world into the beautiful butterfly she will become.


Eastvale: Rocks And Rubies


The following incidents are shared by members of our community, and are anonymous:

  • RUBIES to the entire community for coming together to raise money after the tragic deaths of the four young men from Eastvale.
  • RUBIES to the people who get into the spirit and decorate their houses for Halloween! My son and I love seeing all the pumpkins and ghosts!
  • RUBIES to the nice man who found and went out of his way to return my cell phone. You made my day! Eastvale Rocks!
  • RUBIES to Auto Zone in Eastvale. My brake light is all fixed and looks great. Always so helpful!
  • RUBIES to Vanity Fur Mobile Pet Groomer, Ashlyn, for making my dog look magnificent! You always do such a great job on her.
  • ROCKS to the people who felt like stealing material from my husband’s work truck. Thanks a lot! Not how we wanted to wake up that morning!
  • ROCKS to the person who came into my backyard and stole my bagged up recyclables! Really???
  • ROCKS to the people who, even after we have lost so many people this year in auto accidents, still continue to speed down our streets!
  • ROCKS to the people who keep speeding around the corners by Cedar Creek Park and crashing head on into the curbs, and then drive off (whether the car is able or not!). One of these days you will involve someone else in your accidents and it won’t be pretty.

The Status of Traffic Safety in Eastvale



Eastvale – This September a new bicycle safety law, “Three Feet For Safety”, passed requiring motorists to give cyclists a minimum breadth of three feet while on the road. With the large number of accidents in Eastvale over the past year involving vehicles, pedestrians, and often cyclists, the public has raised the question: How safe are the streets of Eastvale?

According to a report by Lt. Pemberton of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, there have been 12 reported “vehicle vs. pedestrian” accidents in Eastvale since January. Six of these accidents have involved minors on bicycles, two involved minors on skateboards and one involved a minor pedestrian. There have been three accidents involving adults on bicycles, one of them being the fatal accident involving Troy Davids.

Are these numbers simply a reflection of poor and unsafe drivers, or are they a reflection of poor enforcement? This was a question that has been raised by multiple citizens as well as the Eastvale Safety Commission. In response, a report was prepared offering an in-depth look into exactly what the Sheriff’s Department is doing to ensure the safety of its citizens.

According to this report, four of the six accidents involving minors were determined to be the fault of the minor. Lt. Pemberton reported that overall, in the City of Eastvale, 56% of vehicle vs. bicycle accidents were caused by the bicyclist.

In response to these numbers, the Eastvale Police Department began implementing several educational and enforcement programs. Two traffic officers and two dedicated traffic community service officers are employed with the express purpose of conducting special operations in traffic safety. These operations include everything from saturation patrols used to target problem areas where repetitive violations are occurring, to safety programs, to DUI checkpoints.

The Eastvale Police Department performed a total of 12 traffic saturations, which included speeding enforcement, distracted driver enforcement, and “Click It Or Ticket” seatbelt programs, issuing a total of 560 citations.

Two safety programs were also conducted at various intersections throughout the City, which resulted in a total of 50 citations. In addition, there was also a “Bicycle Helmet Enforcement Operation” conducted at Roosevelt High School, with over 40 citations issued.

The Eastvale Police Department also came up with an interesting way to educate the public about the true impact of alcohol by holding a “Watch Your BAC” event at Buffalo Wild Wings. This event was a great way for the public to not only meet and get to know our local officers, but it was also very informative in teaching people about the blood alcohol content in their systems, and how quickly they can become impaired.

In conclusion, positive steps are being taken to ensure the safety of everyone in this community. However, simple things like wearing a helmet, educating your children about how to cross a street and when it is safe to cross a street, go a long way. While drivers do need to remember to pay attention when they drive, pedestrians and bicyclists need to understand that they are responsible for their personal safety and should be defensive as well.



Eastvale: Heartbreak For Eastvale With Three Drowning Accidents


James Pan

James Pan (Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

Eastvale – Eastvale has been rocked recently by two separate drowning tragedies. The first incident occurred on Tues., Aug. 12, in the 7200 block of Canopy Lane. According to the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, 7-year old James Pan had been playing in the backyard pool with a male adult and four other children ranging in age from six to 17. After several minutes passed, the adult noticed that one of the small children was unresponsive in the pool. Although Pan received CPR immediately, he was ultimately unable to be resuscitated. Pan died a few hours after he arrived at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Ontario.

In another tragic accident, Jeterra Jones, 34, and her son, Jordan Millan, 2, were found deceased in a backyard swimming pool in the 6900 block of Farmall Way. According to a Press release from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, Deputies arrived at the residence at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 24 and immediately located the two individuals. At this time there are no signs of foul play and all evidence leads to this incident also being an accidental drowning.

The Riverside Sheriff’s Department reminds the public that pool submersions involving children happen very quickly and often there is no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble. In order to prevent accidental drowning, parents and caregivers should constantly supervise children and install barriers such as doors, fences, gates with latches, audible alarms, or pool safety covers. During social gatherings at or near a swimming pool, a “designated watcher” should be appointed to protect young children from pool accidents. For more information regarding water and pool safety, please visit the Riverside County Injury Prevention Services online at http://www.rivcoips.org.


It’s Been Five Years Without You



WARNING: Tissues are required.


A Letter To My Mom: It’s been five years since we lost you. Five long and sad years in which I haven’t heard your voice, felt your hug and smelled your scent. It’s been five years since you looked in my eyes; five years since I held your hand; five years since I brushed your hair; and five years since I felt your heart beat for the last time.

It’s been five years since we laid you to your final rest, with roses and butterflies gently landing on you as we lowered you into the ground. Five years since we watched each shovel of soil cover you farther away from us. It’s been five years since we struggled to come up with the perfect gravestone, trying to sum up such a wonderful life in 120 characters or less.

It’s been five years since I whispered in your ear, “You can go, I’ll take care of them.” Five years since I took your place dancing with your son in what should have been your dance. It’s been five years since my measure of time didn’t always include, “before my mom died.” It’s been five years since our world stood still, but the people around us didn’t seem to understand and went on living.

It’s been five years since I’ve really taken a deep breath and not felt the little sting of that hollow part of my heart. It’s been five years.

But…it’s been three years since your fourth grandson came along and brightened our world with his smile. It’s been one year since your fifth grandson came along and did the same. I look at my two newest nephews and I see you there in their smiles, their silly laughs and their eyes. I see you in the eyes of Isaiah, and remember all the fun you had with me when I was a teenager and drove you crazy. I hear you in the way Andrew always messes up his words, just like you used to do. And I feel you in the long, far-off gazes that Nicholas gives out of nowhere. I know you are there with him, guiding him along.

So although it’s been five years without you, it really hasn’t. You may not be physically here anymore, but you are still here. You are here in every smile on the face of your five grandsons. You are here with your son as he guides his young boys and shares his stories of you. You are there every time I look in the mirror and your eyes look back at me. So even though it’s been five years since we lost you, we’re all doing okay.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Find out about the signs and symptoms by visiting http://www.ovariancancer.org







What It Feels Like…



JenniferMy youngest son, Nicholas, had to have two biopsies done earlier this month and the experience proved to be a “humbling” one for my older two sons. You see, as much as they love their little brother, they never really grasped the enormity of that love until procedure day.

Since Nicholas is deaf and autistic, these procedures were a little scarier to him than to most 10-year olds. He had to be held down, without his glasses, without his cochlear ear implant, and only the gentle reassuring caresses of me and his brothers. The doctor numbed him up – which if you have ever had a biopsy done you can attest to how much that shot really hurts – and began to slice deep into his skinny little arm and bony back. While we all held him down, me kissing his head and the boys each with a leg, we watched our little guy squirm and whimper in fear. Imagine not knowing what’s going on and on top of that, not being able to hear your mom explain it, see it clearly, or really even understand. I was unable to sign to him during the procedure because I had to hold him down, and he couldn’t move his head to see what was happening because of sanitary reasons.

So the three of us, me and my two sons gritted our teeth and watched and loved on him as best we could. But I noticed something, with every whimper, I saw my older boys wince as if they, too, were being cut. I watched their faces and I saw their hitched breathing. They were as tense as little Nicholas because they couldn’t stand to see him so scared. When Nicholas was all stitched up and we were back in our car, my boys and I took the time to reflect on the whole ordeal. My oldest said, “I really wanted to cry with him, mom. That was horrible!” And my middle son offered to buy Nicholas a car or a helicopter or whatever he wanted. We settled on getting Nicholas a shake and making him macaroni and cheese for dinner, two of his very favorite things. However, this whole experience gave them a deeper understanding of what it feels like to be a parent.

I told them that this is what being a mother feels like; it really is like having your heart walking around outside of your body. Seeing your child in pain, being helpless to make them feel better, and knowing that they have to endure the “hurt” for their own good are all elements of being a mom. This is why we get so worried and scared when our kids are injured or sick or simply take the wrong path. They are our hearts and so deeply connected to us that their pain becomes our own. For once, I think they actually got what I was saying without rolling their eyes and muttering, “Oh, Mom.”

Luckily, Nicholas’ biopsy came back negative for cancer, and once again my little guy enjoyed his favorite shake on the way home, and my boys now have a deeper understanding of what it feels like to be a mom.


What Love Is



I learned my greatest lesson about love from my Grandpa Jester. Surprisingly, the lesson came long after his mind and memories had left him, and all that remained was just what he was at his core. My grandpa loved his family and his wife, and was genuinely kind to everyone. He stood for what he believed and defended his thoughts passionately, but with respect. When he was wronged, he looked at both sides and didn’t always assume he was right. But most of all, my grandpa was truly a good man.

Alzheimer’s disease came and stole parts of his mind and most of his memoires. While many people with this disease lose their “filters” and become increasingly more difficult, my grandpa stayed kind. Often times he would hop up and try and help out with the chores he always did. He would still make jokes and then forget the punch line, but laugh anyway. As his disease progressed, the secret winks he used to always give me from across the room stopped, and at that point I knew he had really forgotten me. However, he once told me that he couldn’t remember who I was but that he did know that he sure did love me. With all the great moments I shared with him, I always knew I was loved without end and that he was always proud of me. When my mother passed away, he sat at her funeral, tears streaming down his face, reliving her passing like a repeating loop in a bad movie. Although he wasn’t sure exactly what was going on, he knew we were all hurting and it broke his heart.


The moment that I really understood what it means to love another person came one morning after my grandma had learned that her brother died. My grandpa sat in his chair watching her as she tried to hide the anguish she was feeling. Although we tried to keep him from seeing her upset, he continued to watch her and then stood up with his shaking legs and bad balance and walked into the kitchen with her. He took her into his arms and hugged her tight, telling her it would be okay. He saw her pain, and knew that “his girl” was hurting. That moment was so profound and even years later I can still see the look of concern on his face. At that moment I understood that love is not a word you say because it makes people smile, love is something that lives on long after your memories fade. It is what you know and feel at the very core of your being. When you truly love someone their pain becomes your pain and even when lost in the cloud of Alzheimer’s, or age, or whatever else, that love remains. To me, that’s what love is.



Making Progress


Progress is advancing in some way. Progress is making changes to yourself and hoping that those changes make you a better person. Progress is inspiring. Progress is hoping against all odds and actually seeing it happen. I’m progressing in life. I’m changing things, myself, my situation, my outlook, my faith, my hopes, and my dreams. I’m trying to redefine my own reality and see things for how they actually are and what they can be, not what they will never be.

I’m faithful, but not patient. Yet I am faithful that I will learn to be patient and that I will be given the opportunities to advance both my patience and my courage. Evan (Steve Carell) in the movie, Evan Almighty, said something along the lines of, “We pray for courage. But God does not make us brave; he instead gives us the opportunities to be brave, thus making us courageous”. Progress means that while I may not be there yet, I am further than I was yesterday and that I am moving forward.

While I progress another year in my life, I look back and see how far I’ve come, and that pushes me on to aspire for something greater. We should never stop progressing, aiming, hoping or dreaming to be better than we were yesterday. Life is unique, in that one must always aspire to higher levels to avoid being mediocre. This has always been a fear of mine, mediocrity. I do not want to be mediocre, I want to be extraordinary and exact a change on this world. I need to make goals, checklists, recordings, or whatever it takes to keep myself accountable to what really matters.

The best advice I can give anyone in this regard is to really, seriously, hold yourself accountable. You are responsible for your happiness, success, etc. If you don’t like the path you are on, no matter how old or young you are, no matter what your fitness level is, your education or your financial situation, change it! Make progress, even if it just means you take one step toward being where you want to be. Just remember to progress.

EASTVALE: Troy Davids Case Gets National Attention

A "White Ghost Bike" marks the intersection where Troy Davids was killed last month. Photo: Jennifer Madrigal

A “White Ghost Bike” marks the intersection where Troy Davids was killed last month. Photo: Jennifer Madrigal

By Jennifer Madrigal
Eastvale – Troy Davids was a young man who had his whole life in front of him, until the tragic night when a suspected driver of a black sedan struck and killed him as he rode his bike home from work on April 25. The car sped off, and was last reported turning southbound on Scholar Way. According to a police report, witnesses said the driver didn’t even stop. Davids was transported to the local Ontario Kaiser hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Only 21-years old, and Troy’s life was over, just like that, just after midnight, alone.
It’s been over a month and although to some it may seem that the case hasn’t progressed much, police have been actively working this case. Eastvale Police Department’s Lt. Mike Yates says, “We have been actively investigating this case from the moment it occurred and have examined many leads. Our investigation has revealed that there was a tan Chevrolet Suburban that may have possibly witnessed the accident and we are hoping that by handing out flyers and getting the public more involved this Good Samaritan will come forward with possible information.”
According to a press release, on Thurs., May 29, the Eastvale Police Department’s Traffic Division, with the assistance of the Citizen Volunteers, reached out to the public by handing out flyers to passing motorists at the intersection of Limonite and Hamner avenues. The flyers provided a brief summary of a fatal hit and run traffic collision in the hopes of identifying possible witnesses. At the conclusion of the public outreach, five citizens came forward and provided information to Traffic Investigators about the case.
The Eastvale Police Department has also assigned a full-time traffic officer to this case and the officer has actively been following up on the many leads that have come in since the flyers were passed out.
Residents, still shocked and saddened by the hit and run, have contacted various news outlets in hopes of getting the story picked up nationally. There has been some success, and recently several news vans were seen near the Limonite/Hamner intersection sharing Troy Davids tragic story. Eastvale Chief of Police, Jason Horton, Lt. Mike Yates and Troy Davids’ parents also held a news conference urging anyone with information to come forward.
The Eastvale Police Department is continuing its investigation into this incident and will pursue any and all leads regarding this crime. If you have information concerning this hit-and-run tragedy, please call (951) 955-2600.

EASTVALE: Problematic River Rd. Bridge Will Get a Larger Police Presence

Recent Accident on River Rd. Bridge Photo: Matthew Zick

Recent Accident on River Rd. Bridge
Photo: Matthew Zick


Eastvale: The problematic River Rd. Bridge connecting Eastvale and Norco will be getting more of a police presence. Several accidents have occurred on the bridge, with the most recent one occurring on May 14th. Five people were injured in the multi-vehicle crash , and many more near accidents are constantly happening.

Resident Matthew Zick, who lives near the bridge, has seen so many “almost crashes and crazy drivers speeding down the bridge that its become almost a daily occurrence. We hear the squealing of brakes and horns constantly”. Other residents, have reported seeing cars speeding by them at excessive speeds, cutting other cars off, racing,  and other unsafe driving.

One of the problems with the bridge is that the curve is more deceiving then it looks and when a vehicle is traveling at an excessive speed it makes it hard to slow down and take the curve responsibly. In addition, there is nothing to prevent another vehicle from traveling into the other lane of on-coming traffic, which is what is what occurred in the most recent accident.

The issue of the unsafe driving behavior was brought up recently at the Public Safety Council meeting and brought to the attention of the Riverside Sheriff’s Department Eastvale Division.  Residents were concerned that it is just a matter of time before yet another fatality occurs on this bridge. Lt. Yates informed the Safety Council that he will arrange more traffic and speeding saturations to try and curb the speeding and unsafe driving that is happening there. Other residents, on our Eastvale Community News Facebook page have suggested putting up cement barriers between the lanes to keep vehicles from veering over, as well as flashing “Here’s your Speed” signs to make drivers aware.


Eastvale: Man Who Shot Woman in Custody

Man Suspected of Shooting female in Eastvale early on April 5 (Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

Man Suspected of Shooting female in Eastvale early on April 5
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

By Michael Armijo 

UPDATED 4 pm 4/5/14: Just before 7 a.m. authorities spotted the suspect’s white Dodge  driving around and tried to initiate a stop. The suspect failed to yield and eventually parked his car in a strip mall parking lot, located at Norwalk Blvd. and Carson in the city of Hawaiian Gardens where he barricaded himself inside his white Dodge Magnum for seven hours. He was spotted by Sheriff’s Deputies when they went to the area to check for the suspect because his auto registration has a Hawaiian Gardens address. After Deputies tried to pull him over, they administered a “spike strip” and all four tires of the Dodge Magnum were deflated. The suspect refused to surrender and tear gas was used. After this was unsuccessful, a K9 was deployed. The standoff with Los Angeles County Sheriff ended with the suspect being taken into custody. He was treated for minor injuries and transported to a hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The female victim is out of surgery and listed in stable condition. She is expected to survive. Update by Jennifer Madrigal  
Eastvale 7:49 am, 4/5/14– A man allegedly shot a woman early this morning and then drove her to the hospital, dropped her off, and fled, police say.“At about 12:30 am, officers from the Eastvale PD answered a call about an assault with a deadly weapon,” said Deputy Anthony Munoz, Public Information Officer for the Riverside Sheriff’s Department. “The suspect, a Hispanic male, allegedly shot a Hispanic female six times and dropped her off at a local hospital, then fled.” The incident happened early this morning, Sat. April 5, 2014, near Rolling Meadow Street and Burrage Street, Munoz said. The area is south west of Limonite and Harrison, and no other injuries were reported. The names of the victim and the suspect was not released yet, and their maritial status was unknown,  but they did have two kids together, Munoz said. “The suspect is considered armed and dangerous, and he fled in a white Dodge. Since the investigation is ongoing, we will have more information later and a press release will be issued,” Munoz said.


Weird is Rad


jennifer stock photo

By Jennifer Madrigal

Dr. Seuss said it best when he said, “We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” Being different or looking at things in a different way isn’t always bad; in fact it’s very often refreshing. In a world where everyone strives to be the “winner” or the best at everything, the ones who are weird tend to stick out and you know what? That’s okay. It’s alright to be different and unique. In fact, it’s inspiring when someone isn’t like everyone else and instead has qualities that make them stand out.

First and foremost, in anything you do, be confident about it. Own it, be it, embody it and make it your own. Being weird is no exception to this rule. Be the delightfully chaotic individual that you are and stand out in a crowd. Let people talk about you, whisper behind your back and think whatever they want. You know the truth anyway, and that is really all that matters.

I have had this exact conversation frequently with my boys. Usually it begins with, “He said I was stupid!” And my response is always, “Well, are you stupid? “ The point of this being, who cares what people say? You know what you are and what you are not. If another person says you are purple, does that make it so? Who cares what people say about your hair or how you look or even how you act? You know the truth. In fact, you should know this better than anyone else. When you don’t respond to another’s negativity or false accusations, you take away their power to put their definitions on you.

Let others call you what they will. Be weird, be different, but most of all, be you; because at the end of the day, the people who are unapologetically themselves, and who stand out from others in their unique weirdness, are usually the ones that we all remember.