The $80-million project is funded by Measure G Bond dollars and will be located in the center of the campus immediately south of Falcon Square.Read More
SANTA FE SPRINGS – Artists, filmmakers and vendors are being sought to participate in Santa Fe Springs Art Fest, a two-day festival taking place May 2-3.
The festival kicks off Thursday, May 2, with the Collector’s Night reception where more than 500 works of art will be on display at the historic Clarke Estate.
Artists are invited to submit their applications for art on canvas, sculptures, ornate clay figures, still-life oil paintings, remarkable mixed media compositions, photography, and film.
Film entries will be reviewed with the winner of the best overall film receiving the Magnum Opus Film Award.
Artist and film entry applications are due no later than March 31. Vendor applications are due by March 30. Applications are online at ArtCrawlFest.com.
WHITTIER — Supervisor Janice Hahn on Tuesday named Graves Middle School students Alison Colacchio, Mone’t Carter, and Andrea Prillwitz the Fourth District’s Women of the Year at the annual awards and scholarship Luncheon hosted by the LA County Commission for Women.
In April 2018, a classmate of the three girls, Oliver, was hit by a car while using the crosswalk on Meyer Road at Fidel Avenue near Amelia Mayberry County Park.
Outraged by their classmate’s injury and eager to prevent a similar tragedy from taking place, the three seventh graders jumped into action and began advocating forcefully for much-needed safety upgrades to the popular crosswalk.
As Oliver recovered from critical injuries sustained during the collision, the three students spearheaded a letter-writing campaign and even testified at a Board of Supervisors weekly meeting at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in Downtown LA where they urged the Board to make the necessary improvements.
After hearing their concerns and personally meeting with the students, Hahn allocated the necessary funds and instructed the LA County Department of Public Works to make the improvements to the crosswalk as soon as possible.
In January, Hahn thanked the students for their advocacy during the unveiling of the newly lighted crosswalk. Today, she honored them for their leadership and follow-through.
“I am so impressed by these young women. They saw what happened to their classmate, recognized the problem, and decided to do something about it,” said Supervisor Hahn. “It is never too early to recognize your power and your ability to make a difference in your community.”
The Women of the Year Luncheon is an annual event hosted by the LA County Commission for Women. Every year, each Supervisor names an outstanding woman or women in their district. Last year, Supervisor Hahn honored Juana Melara, a hotel housekeeper who became a nationwide advocate against sexual assault and was featured in Time Magazine.
NORWALK – A Norwalk man pleaded no contest Wednesday after a 4-year-old boy grabbed the man’s shotgun and then shot the child’s mother.
Brandon Gilbert Ambriz, 24, pleaded to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. He was immediately sentenced to five years in prison.
Ambriz left the shotgun in a Honda in which children were regularly driven, prosecutors said. On Jan. 23, the 4-year-old shot his mother while she was in the driver’s seat and the boy was in the backseat.
Three other children in the vehicle were not injured.
The shooting occurred outside Ramona Preschool in Norwalk.
The mother was shot in the upper torso but survived. The children were placed in the custody of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
NORWALK — Military officials have positively identified the remains of a Vietnam War veteran as those of Norwalk native Raul Antonio Guerra.
Guerra was a U.S. Navy journalist who died in a plane crash over Vietnam in 1967. He had been listed as a POW/MIA.
U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez announced the news of Guerra’s positive identification as confirmed by the U.S. Department of Defense.
“America will never forget those who fought and died for our country,” Sanchez said in a statement. “Every generation is committed to the mission of recovering missing service members who are killed in battle and returning them home to their loved ones. I am honored to say we have fulfilled one part of that mission.”
Since 2017, Sanchez has worked with U.S. Marine Ruben Valencia to identify and return Guerra’s remains for a proper burial. Valencia was a friend of Guerra’s.
“Through many starts and stops, Mr. Valencia never lost hope and he never gave up,” Sanchez said. “He showed unwavering commitment to his childhood friend.
“I look forward to joining Mr. Valencia and others who have worked so hard on this effort to welcome Raul Guerra home and lay him to rest.”
NORWALK — A minor earthquake jolted a large swath of Southern California early Tuesday morning.
The magnitude-3.3 quake struck Norwalk at 1:51 a.m., and was the largest of several micro earthquakes that made Southern California tremble within just a few hours. Most of those quakes ranged from a 1.0 to a 1.8 and struck areas like Ojai, West Hollywood and Bellflower, besides Norwalk.
The Los Angeles County sheriff’s Norwalk station said there was no damages reported.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the magnitude-3.3 earthquake was felt as far east as Riverside and as far north as Santa Clarita.
WHITTIER – La Serna High School senior Olivia Genao is a budding artist whose lifelong passion for art, science and math has fueled a remarkable educational journey that has earned her District-wide recognition for gaining early admission to Yale University.
Genao, La Serna’s 2019 Student of the Year, was granted early admission to the elite Ivy League campus in December. She is one of 794 applicants from around the world selected to join the Class of 2023 through the Early Action Program. Genao, who plans to major in neuroscience, was offered a full-tuition scholarship.
“Being accepted into Yale is something I never imagined possible,” Genao said. “I couldn’t have done it without my most important support system – my family.”
Surrounded by friends and family, the scholar was recognized by the Whittier Union Board of Trustees with an Award of Merit on Feb. 19.
“It is extremely difficult for me to summarize Olivia’s accomplishments and outstanding qualities, because of how highly I think of this young lady,” La Serna counselor Kelley Strong said. “Olivia is incredibly insightful, determined and has an enormous amount of potential.”
Genao, who has a 4.53 GPA, serves as editor-in-chief of La Serna’s award-winning yearbook and has taken 13 Advanced Placement classes – seemingly finding a way to combine her love for the arts, which began when she picked up a camera at 5 years old, with her passion for science and math.
“An artist is innovative, imaginative and inventive. So is a scientist,” Genao said. “It may seem odd that the qualities that serve me so well in science sprouted from the field that most obviously contrasts it, but for me it makes perfect sense.”
In 2017, Genao was one of 20 high school juniors selected to participate in a nine-month Women in STEM program at Harvey Mudd College. Later that year, Genao attended the UCLA Nanoscale Microscopy Lab Summer Institute and in 2018 completed a research project at Whittier College.
Genao has received numerous honors for her leadership experience, serving as president of La Serna’s National Honor Society and the Whittier chapter of the National Charity League. Genao has also been cited as a National Merit Commended Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction.
Even with a full schedule of classes, Genao has given over 800 hours of volunteer service as a STEM mentor at La Habra Library and hospital ambassador at PIH Health.
“Oliva is a remarkable and extraordinary young woman, using innovation and imagination to excel in her studies while becoming a leader among her classmates and in her community,” La Serna Principal Ann Fitzgerald said. “I am excited to see what the future will bring for Olivia.”
NORWALK — The American Red Cross will hold five blood drives in Norwalk next month as it works to fill a shortage in type O blood.
Type O blood is the most in-demand blood type, officials said, because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what emergency room personnel reach for when there’s no time to determine a patient’s blood type.
Recent snowstorms and severe weather in many parts of the country have forced hundreds of blood drive cancellations, causing more than 20,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.
People of all blood types are asked to make an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org to donate blood or platelets.
The Red Cross has scheduled the following blood drives in Norwalk:
March 2, 8 am to 1 pm: St. Paul Lutheran Church
March 5, 10 am to 5 pm: Cerritos College Falcon Square
March 6, 10 am to 5 pm: Cerritos College Falcon Square
March 9, 8 am to 1 pm: St. Paul Lutheran Church
March 16, 8 am to 1 pm: St. Paul Lutheran Church
NORWALK — Heavy rain couldn’t put a damper on Valentine’s Day romance when the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder County Clerk (RR/CC) opened up same-day wedding ceremonies for happy couples eager to tie the knot.
Couples young and old alike piled into the Norwalk RR/CC office to say “I do” last Thursday during what has become an annual event over the last few years.
“People get married here every single day in our offices,” said Brenda Duran, spokesperson for the LA County RR/CC. “Obviously Valentine’s Day is a lot more popular just because it’s the most popular day of the year, so we tend to get a larger flow of people on Valentine’s Day getting married here.”
With no appointment needed and walk-ins gladly accepted, soon-to-be newlyweds needed only pay a $35 fee and provide a government issued ID to get hitched. They could also purchase their marriage license for an additional fee.
Other traditional wedding paraphernalia - such as tuxes, gowns, flowers, and even rings – were up to the couple’s discretion.
“We try to make it as convenient as possible for people… they can expect a really quick and easy process,” said Duran. “Flowers and Rings, that’s your personal taste.”
Donna and Miguel Rodriguez were one of the happy couples to take advantage of the opportunity, saying their vows in front of a small ensemble of loved ones. They have been together for four years.
“Prior to this, we tried getting married six times, both here in California and Las Vegas,” said Donna. “Finally, we came today where we were able to do it here in Norwalk. I still can’t believe it.”
“It’s beautiful,” added Miguel.
When asked what comes next for the happy couple, Donna simply replied, “A lot of surprises.”
Photos by Alex Dominguez
My husband and I came to Bell Gardens, Calif., in 1949. We stayed with my father-in-law; he had a 1-bedroom house with cement floors.
The next week, he went to the Veterans Administration and brought back forms for my husband to sign. His house was to be sold for $6,000.
My husband and I did not want to buy this house. It had a lot of 35 ft. by 150 ft. Someone bought it, tore down the house, and built 1-bedroom granny apartments. Bright idea, I never thought of that.
We rented a trailer for $40 a month in a trailer court. One of the ladies said she bought a house and needed $150 for wall-to-wall carpeting. She had a trailer to sell. We looked at it and it had twin cribs built-in. Her father had built the trailer.
Since I was expecting my baby, we thought it was a good idea. It also had a cranberry sofa. It opened to a double bed, very comfortable.
Then we decided to move to the Navy housing project in San Pedro. We needed a car and found a Studebaker. We told the salesman we wanted to sell our trailer. He came and looked at it. He said his daughter had a baby and was living with him. It would be a good idea to buy it for her. He offered us $200 for the down payment on the car. The trailer was 20 ft. by 6 ft.
We moved to San Pedro for Navy housing. The rent was $38 a month for a 1-bedroom unit. It was furnished but we had to buy a crib for our baby. There was a laundry room with a ringer washer and clothes lines.
I met a school teacher whose husband was in construction. There were new homes going up in Norwalk. We drove to Norwalk to see the homes that were being built by a developer that built custom homes. Our GI loan would cover the down payment.
We took out a 30-year loan and decided on the more expensive house as it had a breakfast nook. It was $9,500 with a double garage. There were three bedrooms with revolving closets. We eventually had four more children, including twins.
The children were grown and married, moving a long distance. My husband passed away in 2008. My children decided that I should move to an assisted living facility in Cerritos.
Reluctantly I sold my house for $375,000 and moved to the Grove. Coincidentally it is located at New Falcon Way and Studebaker Road.
I have such fond memories of my husband and raising five children in a house I loved for 60 years.
Dora Silvers is a student in the memories writing class at Cerritos College.
NORWALK – Cerritos College announced that its Cerritos Complete Program would be expanding, now offering local students in participating school districts free tuition for two years.
“It’s definitely going to change the way we bring students into Cerritos College and hopefully will continue to impact the success of all of our students as we move through the different stages of the program,” said Cerritos College President and Superintendent Jose Fierro during a press conference on Tuesday.
With the program, students will receive two years free tuition, two years of priority enrollment, step-by-step assistance, one-on-one counseling and advisement, college preparedness, career exploration, and personalized schedules for fall and spring semesters.
“We believe that adding another year of free tuition is going to give even more students a broader opportunity, and more people in our community a better chance to be successful not just in education, but in life,” said Board of Trustee President Carmen Avalos.
“It is not only important for us to remove the financial barriers for students to attend college, but to make sure that they graduate and they transfer to their desired academic institution,” added Fierro. “It is our goal and full intention to make Cerritos College the transfer institution of choice for every single one of our students.”
Before Tuesday’s announcement, Cerritos Complete had already benefited over 2,500 students.
The Cerritos Complete program was originally established in fall 2015, originally offering a single year of free tuition. Since then the program has grown, with Cerritos Complete students representing 25 percent of the entire college’s first-time students. It will now be funded through AB 19 after previously being funded through local dollars.
Participating districts currently include ABC, Downey, Lynwood, Norwalk-La Mirada, and Paramount, Field of Dreams Charter School, and adult schools in ABC, Bellflower, Downey, Norwalk La-Mirada, and Cerritos College.
Information on the program can be found at www.cerritos.edu/cerritos-complete.
NORWALK – Cerritos College announced Monday that it is establishing a unique new public art collection.
The collection, to be spread through publicly accessible areas of the campus, will feature paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs ranging in size from multiple small works on paper to two massive fourteen-foot shaped-canvas paintings.
Themes presented in the works will reflect the areas of study covered in nearby classrooms. The collection also prominently features works by traditionally underrepresented groups, including notable female artists and artists of color.
In this initial acquisition, the College selected works by 18 contemporary artists: Carolyn Castaño, Amir H. Fallah, Alexandra Grant, Mark Steven Greenfield, Sean Higgins, Kiel Johnson, Virginia Katz, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Melissa Manfull, Álvaro Daniel Márquez, Hung Viet Nguyen, Christina Ondrus, Naida Osline, Julia Paull, Gala Porras-Kim, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia, Marie Thibeault, and Jessica Wimbley.
A downloadable map with hanging locations will be made available from the College’s website by the end of the spring 2019 semester. The campus will continue to expand this public art collection in the coming years.
A public art collection of this scale is rare for a community college. In 2015, the college established the Committee on Art in Public Spaces to develop a comprehensive and permanent plan to display art around campus, adding to a small number of existing public art pieces already on view, including a painted wood construction titled To Whom It May Concern (2013) by Salvadoran-American artist Daino, and a sound-sculpture, The Sound Pavilion (2011), by John David O’Brien and Steve Roden. Both are currently on display in the College’s new Fine Arts Building.
The college also recently installed a cast-concrete sculpture donated by artist Gustavo Godoy titled Vacant Marker (2012) at the entrance of the Kincaid Field.
While the Cerritos College Art Gallery relies solely on generous donations from artists, the public art collection is financed by the College’s substantial public art endowment fund, which was spearheaded by Cerritos College President/Superintendent Dr. Jose L. Fierro. The Cerritos College Board of Trustees also invested in this new endeavor, supporting and approving the establishment of the endowment fund in 2015. The public art endowment will also soon fund new commissions for multiple large-scale public art projects across campus.
“I am beyond excited that Cerritos College will house all of these wonderful works,” said James McDevitt, curator, Cerritos College Art Gallery, and associate professor, Art History and Visual & Cultural Studies. “The work included in this collection of drawings, paintings, and photographs has direct connections to the material that is taught in the classroom, and will provide our students an additional and exciting opportunity to engage with the educational content in new and different ways.”
“Art and culture is an important element of higher education that can expose our students and community to a larger, diverse worldview. We believe that having a robust public art collection on campus will enrich the student experience and transform the College’s landscape into a cultural hub for the community, ” said Dr. Fierro.
“The public art collection not only adds dimension and beauty to the College, it also gives us a creative way to engage in more community involvement on our campus,” said Cerritos College Board President Carmen Avalos.
Current students and alumni are invited to apply for the study abroad program.Read More
NORWALK — The Tzu Chi Foundation is providing free tax preparation services to qualifying residents at Norwalk’s Social Services Center.
The services, made possible by the Volunteer Tax Income Assistance Program, will be provided every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through April 13.
Qualifying criteria includes:
Total household income not to exceed $55,000
No rental income
May not be married filing separately.
Call (562) 929-5961 to schedule an appointment and for more details about required documentation. Appointments are limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Social Services Center is located at 11929 Alondra Blvd.
NORWALK — Jurors deliberated less than an hour before convicting a Norwalk man last week of two counts of indecent exposure.
Dong Hyun Huh, 47, exposed his penis to two female pedestrians in separate incidents in Artesia and Cerritos in September 2017. Both incidents occurred on the same date.
Huh faces a maximum sentence of one year in local custody and lifetime sex offender registration. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 4 at the Bellflower branch of Los Angeles Superior Court.
NORWALK – Those currently or at-risk of experiencing homelessness are invited to attend an outreach event this Monday at Norwalk Library.
Guests can receive one-on-one assistance for housing, Medi-Cal and CalFresh, flu and hepatitis vaccines, mental health care referrals, legal aid (including expungements), SSI and SSDI, job training and job opportunities, veteran services, free cell phones, haircuts, gently-used clothing, and more.
Pack-a-snack lunches will be provided by Supervisor Janice Hahn’s office and the Friends of the Norwalk Libraries.
The event is Monday, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Norwalk Library is at 12350 Imperial Hwy.
SOUTH WHITTIER – Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn announced a plan this week to build affordable student apartments on the county-owned site that was formerly home to the South Whittier Library.
“We are using all of the tools at our disposal to address the homelessness crisis at every level and we will not ignore the staggering number of local college students who are struggling with homelessness,” said Hahn. “This is a promising project that will provide local students with safe places to live and give them the opportunity to focus on their studies and their bright futures.”
The property at 14433 Leffingwell Road is the former site of the South Whittier Library has been vacant since the library moved to a new site in 2016.
At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the board approved an exclusive negotiating agreement with LINC Housing Corporation, a local nonprofit developer, to work on a plan to build affordable apartments for low-income students at the site.
The units will be dedicated to students at Rio Hondo College.
LINC proposes to develop a new three-story building of approximately 21,000 square feet in size, which includes a total of 27 affordable housing units reserved for low income transition age youth between the ages of 18-25. All units are proposed to be reserved for individuals earning 30 percent or less of area median income.
The proposed development also includes a community room, common outdoor spaces, a computer room, laundry room, offices for supportive services and property management, and 10 vehicle parking spaces.
Additionally, LINC is partnering with Jovenes, a local non-profit organization, specializing in providing crucial supportive services for young adults facing homelessness.
“This project addresses the incredible needs many of our students have,” said Oscar Valladares, vice president of the Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees. “Rio Hondo College welcomes and values the leadership of our county leaders to be bold and serve everyone-- including our community college students.”
The exclusive negotiating agreement will have an initial term of 180 days with options to extend it for an additional 90 days.
NORWALK – The Talon Marks’s entire catalog of newspapers — 62 years’ worth of stories chronicling life on the Cerritos College campus – is now online and available to the public.
Each print edition, from the very first publication in 1957 to the most recent issue, was scanned and made into a searchable PDF using OCR technology, school officials said.
The archives are available online at talonmarks.com/archives, where the editions are categorized by academic year.
The project was a collaborative effort between the college’s Mass Communications Department and the Cerritos College Library after they both recognized a need to digitally archive the newspapers as historical documents.
The entire process took eight years to complete. Each newspaper had to be prepared for scanning and then digitally processed for public use.
Alicia Edquist, instructional lab technician I for the department, headed the project, with assistance from former Talon Marks adviser Rich Cameron and former adult hourly Rosaura Montes.
“The Talon Marks Digital Newspaper Project is vital in preserving the history of our college,” said Fine Arts and Communications Dean Gary Pritchard. “I am proud of Alicia Edquist and the tremendous effort that went into digitizing 62 years of Talon Marks. I hope everyone is as excited as I am to search the archives.”
The idea for a digital archive came about in 2010, when the newspaper archives in the library were damaged by a leaky roof.
“Being able to preserve our campus history was a priority for us when we began this project,” said Edquist. “Some of the print editions of Talon Marks had been damaged and we knew it was time to make sure our newspaper’s legacy was preserved. It was vital to preserve the journalism and history of the ever-changing campus community.”
According to Edquist, the student newspaper receives multiple requests for archives each year.
The Mass Communications Department is part of the Fine Arts and Communications Division at Cerritos College. The department houses the journalism and radio/TV courses for the campus.
NORWALK — The Koll Company announced today it has acquired a 54,000-square-foot freezer facility in Norwalk, a central distribution location providing “unmatched function and strategic access to the prestigious Southern California consumer market and the larger Western region.”
Located at 13034 Excelsior Drive, the warehouse is fully leased to Cargill Meat Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of privately held Cargill Inc. which has $115 billion in sales and is America’s largest private company.
The facility, which is used as the distribution point for delivering protein products to customers throughout California, Arizona and Nevada is the only freezer facility serving the Western region for Cargill Meat Solutions.
“The Los Angeles industrial market continues to tighten with a limited future supply pipeline,” said Scott Lanni, Principal, The Koll Company. “Acquiring this strategic and unique freezer facility at a value significantly below replacement cost will prove to be a strong long-term investment providing both cash flow and asset appreciation.”
Features of the building include a 28’ clear ceiling, 5,473 pallet positions and seven dock high doors. The industrial property is uniquely efficient, providing over 90% of the rentable square feet as highly desirable frozen food storage.
The warehouse is a key investment in Norwalk, where this central distribution hub is in close proximity to a majority of greater Los Angeles.
Mike Hartel, Joe Winkelmann and Nick Velasquez of Colliers International represented the buyer and seller in the transaction. The lender was East West Bank.
NORWALK – Get to know your local law enforcement over a slice of pizza on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at SoCal Pizza.
The “Pizza with a Cop” event will provide residents with an opportunity to engage with Public Safety personnel and Sheriff’s deputies to share issues of concern and provide feedback to make Norwalk neighborhoods safer.
The first 25 in attendance will receive free pizza and beverages.
SoCal Pizza is located at 12253 Imperial Hwy.